Should I Lop Off The Long Branch????

molivella

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I was able to pick this bougainvillea up yesterday. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find it tucked away at a nursery under a bench, buried behind several trees. It’s now in a 10” pot and as can be seen the trunk is a massive 8” at the base. In time, with patience, pruning, etc. I hope to develop a triangular shaped canopy over the main trunk, offset to the right.

My consternation is whether to keep the long 30” branch (that has some growth on the end) or lop it off. I would think that with time, etc, I could develop a nice pad on the end of the branch (and possibly get some additional branching/pad(s) on that branch) for a semi-cascade look. I am new to this site and was hoping to get thoughts from some of you before I decide what to do. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 
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thomas22

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Nice find. This tree has a lot of potential. I think I would start by reducing the length of the two right branches by half. The longest branch is too long for any style. Here is one of my bougies which has a similar trunk which maybe could give you ideas.
 

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molivella

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It leads your eye away from that gnarly trunk. It also horribly straight. How are the roots?
Haven’t looked at the roots as I simply moved it from the nursery pot into this one without disturbing any of the soil. I plan to repot in the spring as this guy is going straight to my greenhouse after we return home from the Christmas Holidays (I’m out of town visiting family).
 

molivella

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Nice find. This tree has a lot of potential. I think I would start by reducing the length of the two right branches by half. The longest branch is too long for any style. Here is one of my bougies which has a similar trunk which maybe could give you ideas.
Your tree has the kind of shape I intend to pursue, only my canopy will be further right. I see your point and will likely lop off maybe half of the upper right branch and a good bit of the lower, long branch. I just hate to cut off such a long, thick, branch that could lead to an interesting semi cascade bougainvillea. Once it’s gone, it can't be put back but I know that by cutting it (and the other one above it) it will cause new growth to come in where I cut....
 

Wilson

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I would think that if you were set in trying to keep it, maybe cut some notches out to get some movement. At least then you would add some intereating movement into that branch. I am not experienced with bougainvillea, but I imagine it could heal the cuts well.
 

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