Seasonably appropriate work

iconvoid

Seedling
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Hi All, first post.

I caught the fever in late summer this year (just a few weeks ago) and of course immediately acquired several armfuls of nursery stock to practice on. Some of it was enormously cheap (including two planters of lantana for $3 each on the discount shelf at Lowes, each containing multiple individual plants), some I spent a few more bucks on (like a very nice 3 or 4 year-old azalea I got on sale for $25 at a smaller nursery.) Overall, I have barberry, juniper, mugo pine, evergreen azalea, spruce (I know, I know), euonymus, potentilla, and pieris* as outdoor species, and lantana, hibiscus, and citrus to try to bring indoors. (I'm in Chicago -- Zone 5 or 6 depending on who you ask).

(*When the frost comes I'll probably look for a friend with an unheated garage or porch to winter this guy for me).

I've already wired the junipers and one of the barberry (badly!) For the others I haven't done much more than clear away down to the root crown, and done a basic cleaning (removed dead material, thinned out the branches to open the interior, done some light shape pruning (except for the mugo, which I understand should not be pinched until new spring growth).

What else can I do this late in the season that won't set them back or kill them? I'd like to do a bunch of wiring over the long weekend. Does it make sense to wire a tree that hasn't been heavily pruned? Are some of these OK to prune down severely this late in the year? (Roughly 45 days from first frost).

Thanks!
 
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You could pick up fishing, reading, or whatever.
Just keep them alive for now. Upgrade your knowledge about them, and make some plans for next year.
If you're 45 days away from the first frosts, I believe it'll be wise to get them through winter first.
If they die, then it's the winters fault and not yours. If you work them now, you can never be sure if it was you or the weather.
It makes learning lessons pretty hard if you can't be sure if it died by your own hands or not. We all lose trees, we all kill trees, but it helps knowing who or what to blame, so we can adjust in the future.
 

sixemkay

Yamadori
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You could examine the trees and decide on a potential front for each one. I like to pick one and mark it with a chopstick or piece of yarn, take a picture, think of potential designs using that front, then come back to it later and look for any other potential fronts and repeat.

I also like to follow branches from trunk to tip (I’ve seen this referred to as a “shin” line) to find the best taper. Then put a twisty tie or piece of yarn on branches that need to be removed.

Both of those things are probably unnecessary, but at least they won’t hurt the tree. It quenches the urge.
 

Warpig

Shohin
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Try not to go too crazy just because you are itching to do something. Its common for someone new to the hobby to try and rush and do what tbey can, then as they learn more wish they had done something different or not at all.


Oh, and welcome to crazy!
 

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