Small collected hawthorn

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So this year, in keeping with my tagline, I decided that I need to invest in some better material to challenge myself to grow. Admittedly, the stuff I am getting is still on the low end of the market, and there are much better trees out there, but it's a start.

This English hawthorn was collected and rough-styled by Greg Brenden in Portland. There are three trunks and multiple suckers that I have not decided what to do with. The branches have been shaped through clip-and-grow, and honestly they are a little too wild I think.

I have not quite settled on a direction yet, but I think my preferred front at the moment is in pic #3. I want to tame the wildness somewhat and bring the profile in significantly. I will likely pot the tree into a grow box next spring to let it regain some vigor before working it much. Any suggestions are welcome!

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VAFisher

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I like #3 as the front also. If it was mine, I would think about reducing it to the 2 main trunks and shortening the smaller one on the left to about 3/4ths the height of the main trunk. I would also go ahead and angle the chop on the main trunk. Cool tree - I like it.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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A good, fun tree! I like #3 with 3 trunks. It gives you lots of opportunities

It looks to me like the 3 trunks are different diameter to me. If that’s not so, style to make and keep it so.

Clip and grow is the only way to develop an English Hawthorn once it gets a couple years on the wood. At least that’s what I’ve found with mine. Once you get the design plan fixed, wire what you can as soon as practicable.

Unless those lower suckers have some purpose in your design I’d get rid of them now.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your work on this tree as it progresses!

Cheers
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RKatzin

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I have three of these growing at this time, all of them are basal suckers collected from another larger tree. I had a dozen to start with. I took a bunch because I didn't know for sure how they would take, but they all did very well.
You have a nice tree there. I like the third pic for a front also. Clean it up a little and continue with the clip and grow. I never wire hawthorns as they are very generous with options for clip and grow.
 
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Here is a close-up of the back side of the largest trunk. It shows a partially-healed wound that may or may not callous over given some years. Unfortunately, the top end of this wound is pretty close to where the low end of my final cut to clean up the chop would be. I am trying to decide whether to leave a thin strip of bark between the two wounds and work on healing each one separately, or carve the top down into the existing lower wound and make it a feature.

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Zach Smith

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I would suggest doing nothing in the area where that leader emerges for quite some time. Let the leader grow. You have a lot of branching lower down that will be hard to work with given that it's not been wired horizontal, so it's possible that all of it will need to be removed and new branching grown from the buds which are almost guaranteed to pop where you removed them (most likely two buds per removed branch).

If you do any work near that leader at this time, you run the risk of the tree casting off the leader and dying back more. Letting the leader get stronger (it needs to anyway) will pull more energy up there where you very much need it. Right now this tree has a lot of energy spread out in the lower parts. Try to redirect it. But don't do much more than that this year. And hopefully you have a lot more trees you can love on while this one recovers from what you do now.

For what it's worth, of course.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Totally agree with @Zach Smith on leaving this tree alone, except to care for it properly to bulk it up and get it robust.

You will have plenty of time to pull the trigger next spring. One thought I have is to draw out a couple ideas of what you hope it to look like in two and five years. Then post those when you have these how you like them.

It may seem like a lot of work, but the process will make things lots easier for you while working the tree.

The end result may be something different, yet at least you’ll have something to shoot for that you can refer to in the near term.

Cheers
DSD sends
 

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