Split multi trunk tree

Nj6964

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I purchased a pair of 3 gallon junipers for cheap at a nursery clearance. The each have a definite dominant leader that will be the main trunk. They each also have another trunk that would be worth making a cool tree from.

My question: is it possible to split a tree in half? Keeping roots for each respective half of the tree in tact? See the photos of the crazy mess of junipers I’m going to work with after their dead branch cleanup.

Edit: the branches are about 3/4-1” thick so I doubt they root well as cuttings. I was hoping to avoid air layering so I can work on the remaining half of the tree in the spring and get some new growth.
 

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Wires_Guy_wires

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I have done it on young junipers, with limited success. 1 in 5 did not make it, even though it had its own set of ground layered roots.
I have noticed that how older trees get, the more 'set' their vein structure is. In other words: it does not adapt to new situations very well. This means you'll have a rotting piece of wood on both plants eventually, because that's where the cut was.

Nonetheless, if air layering is not an option.. How would you plan on cutting the two apart? There are roots from the right side of the tree, growing towards the left side of the rootball. If you cut in a straight line down.. that might be an issue.
 

Nj6964

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It seems like this probably isn’t the best idea, especially since it was only to salvage some otherwise wasted cuttings. I’ll either cut them up higher and root them or air layer down low.

Anyone know how air layering one portion of a tree affects another portion’s growth. My plan would be to:
1. Heavily prune near end of winter, thinking they’re not so reliant on stored energy in the branches by then.
2. Position trees for optimal sun catching until end of spring.
3. Either set up air layer or cut off and root the branch.

Maybe I’ll try one of each since I have 2 trees.
Thanks!
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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I have done a semi-airlayer last year on a scopulorum.
Make sure there is foliage below and above the cut line, so that the bottom part does not die.
I proceded to do an air layer in mid summer, not a good time. It callussed over. Just before winter, I cut off the branch with loads of callus and put it in the ground like a cutting. I snipped off a few branches to see how fast a branch dies in such a situation. My cutting is 20 times that size, and still alive, control branches are dead.

This here is a different situation, I'm aware, but it might give you some pointers.

Oh, and wood lice. Keep them away. They will eat your roots and they will hide, feed and reproduce in sphagnum.
 

leatherback

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Oh, and wood lice. Keep them away. They will eat your roots and they will hide, feed and reproduce in sphagnum.
Ohw.. really? Good pointer. I have loads of them in my garden. Maybe that is the cause for my trouble, with the endless draught this year.. Woudlice in my spaghnum!
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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They fucked up every single air layer I did this year. Even the ones 3 metres up in the cherry tree. They even dug into the danish clay to get to the callus. They don't give a shit. And they breathe under water, so there is no option drowning them.
I'm getting a bunch of nematodes next spring. That should kill them good. They are not insects, which makes everything harder to combat.

When healthy callus (whitish) turns nasty brown and chunks seem to be missing/rotting for no reason, and there are no microscopic white worms, then it's wood lice.
 
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