Topping wisteria

Erwin

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Hi,

So i just received this already topped wisteria from a friend that needed to clear space and she thought it would be something for me.

Can anyone plaease tell me if i can top this now lower then it is at this moment? Also is it smart to do this now (Beginning of autumn)

Also i notice i believe that this is a ented plant. Is this even suitable to be trained to a bonsai?

Thanks,

Erwin
 

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Erwin

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will it be possible to chop it through the bottom of it, perhaps as to avoid the ugly graft there or wil it then lose all the wisteria properties?
 

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Microscopic

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Nah, leave it as is for the flowers

Get a real tree like elm or ficus to do bonsai stuff on
 

Shibui

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It is not possible to give a good answer to your question when we do not know where in the world you are to ascertain what growing season you are in and how much season is left. You will notice that most others have included a location in their profile so it is always visible when you post.

You can definitely cut a wisteria lower. They are very resilient and will shoot readily from dormant nodes in the trunk and often from the roots in order to survive. I would not cut quite so low as there is a small risk there are no buds in the short piece you have marked. Look at the upper part and note how far apart wisteria leaves, and therefore nodes, are. If you look close enough at the lower trunk nodes may still be visible which could guide your chop site. Better to go a little higher and then refine the chop after buds emerge.

You can certainly chop right down at the graft (assuming it is a graft) but be aware that may change the nature of your wisteria. Generally the best varieties - good color, good size flowers, etc - are used to graft so growers get superior blooming plants. Root stock can be any strong growing wisteria. Some will have small or pale flowers. No way of telling unless you can talk to whoever grew it or until a few years after you have done the chop and by then it is too late to go back.
I don't think there is any advantage to chopping so low. The different graft right at ground level should only be temporary. and I'd expect the visible differences to get less as the trunk matures.
A better option would be to use the chopped trunk as a cutting (or several, depending how tall it is) to get an ungrafted wisteria plant. Wisteria strikes easily and you know the resulting plants are more likely to be a good clone.
 

Erwin

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Thank you very much for your answer and the advice. I live in The Netherlands and autumn is setting in these last weeks.
I took a look this afternoon and the back (read new front :)) looks much better. Could you please tak a look at them and give me your advice on what to do?
It is very rare that i run into a base this thick and the wisteria sounds such an interesting tree to have.

I could use some advice on how to go about. Also making a cutting of the trunk: What medium would be best here and what is the expected rooting time if you would guess. I am planning to or use Spagnum mos or perlite but i don know excactly. What will be best? I have a heat mat also so planning to use this.

Added some pictures to help with my issue, please feel free to comment :)

Regards,

Erwin
 

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Forsoothe!

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Growing seasons around the world vary widely and it is difficult to get a perspective on what someone says when we don't know where in the world they are. We need to have your info on every post, or you’ll be asked over and over. If you go to the upper right hand corner and click on your Icon, you can add your location and people will be able to customize advice for you, and you might connect with another local.




<<<<< It will show here.
 

Shibui

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That wisteria is almost certainly grafted. I can see a V shape where the scion was put into the root section. Cutting really low is likely to lose the grafted to section and the roots are likely to be a different sort.

It is getting a bit too late to do any work on this tree now so If you can contain your enthusiasm until spring you should get better results.

1. strike cuttings: Sphagnum moss and perlite are both good media for striking cuttings so you can use either or a mix. My usual cutting mix is 50/50 perlite and peat. Easiest time of year for me for wisteria cuttings is winter when there are no leaves. I make cuttings that have 2-3 nodes (look for bumps on the stem where leaves once grew - that's a node and where roots grow easiest when below ground and where new shoots can grow if above ground)

2. Chop the trunk: It is hard to see what nodes are on the trunk so difficult to advise exactly where to chop but definitely at or above blue line marked 3. If you cut lower you risk killing the grafted part.

3. Grow new roots on the lower section: I would try to get roots on the trunk at the level you have marked 1 so bury the lower section of the trunk so roots can grow. Also search for info on ground layer to help the plant make new roots where you want them.

Note that wisteria bonsai need to be grown relatively tall or leaning so when they flower the long flowers have room to hang down. Imagine a 20 cm tall wisteria bonsai with 30 cm long flowers???????
At some stage you will definitely need to let this wisteria grow taller and fatter to make a good bonsai so maybe a trunk chop this winter is not such a good idea.
 

ConorDash

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I've some experience with Wisteria so I thought I would try to give advice..

I am currently growing Wisteria from a seed, Chinese Wisteria. Firstly, and importantly, they are a vine.. not a normal tree that grow straight up and thicken well. They do not thicken well, compared to others but not to say they can't thicken in time.
I've mine in a few different situations, but by far the best was the one I left to grow up a trellis. That thing scaled and consumed that 6ft, 2.5ft wide trellis in a season and as a result of the tight winding, and grip it had, the trunk thickened. Compared to those without structure to climb up (but were planted in a BIG pot of organic soil to simulate ground growing), its perhaps 50% thicker. Compared to the one I left in a small pot, with no structure? Waste of a years growth, it did next to nothing. No thickening.

If you really really want rid of the grafting mark, which to be fair, it is ugly, you could ground layer it. It will result in a nice radial root spread that you can then work on for a few years and sort, so that when you ground grow it and leave it to thicken and get big, it will develop a nice nebari. Commonly done for these reasons. Mostly, I would say let this thing grow. Stick it next to something it can grab and grow up and leave it for a number of years.

The thickness of that wisteria trunk, not including the grafted base, is the about the thickness of a primary or secondary branch on my wisteria, after it was left to grow up a trellis for a year. Same other rules apply, water it well, feed it VERY well. Aside from that, it can withstand our temperatures, winds and heat. Your climate is mostly similar to mine, I'm just west of you, across the river.
 

rockm

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@ConorDash is spot on.

I would also ask if you have seen this plant in bloom. It's likely grafted for a reason--the top part probably has distinctive blooms, like white blossoms, darker purple blossoms, more compact or longer flower racemes, etc. There is no real reason to graft wisteria other than that. Those special characteristics might be enough reason to ground layer the top and forget about the base.

The base is horrible and the union will only get worse as time passes...
 

Erwin

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No i have never seen it in bloom, and i do have my doubts if i should make a project out of this. I only have a very limited space and after hearing the comment that the wisteria has a certain minimum size of height or i would surely make a cutting of the top piece at least, maybe i will come springtime.
But thanks a lot for the help with this guys, it gave me a lot of insights!
 
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rockm

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No i have never seen it in bloom, and i do have my doubts if i should make a project out of this. I only have a very limited space and after hearing the comment that the wisteria has a certain minimum size of height or i would surely make a cutting of the top piece at least, maybe i will come springtime.
But thanks a lot for the help with this guys, it gave me a lot of insights!
Wisteria is a beast of a plant. It needs space to grow and bonsai made from it need to have BIG trunks to support blooms and growth. This species is invasive here in the U.S. It grows like mad and can pull building off foundations if allowed to grow unrestrained against structures. Even small plants send out shoots that can get underneath building siding and pull it off. Collecting a big trunk is about the only way to get to a decent wisteria bonsai. The house below is in N.C. The trunk pictured next to it is a wisteria in the woods near me that I've got my eye on for bonsai. The base trunk is about 6-8 inches in diameter. The plant grows 50 feet up and over surrounding elms and oaks...
 

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hinmo24t

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is yours even alive?

i got one from a local member and it seems healthy. .6" trunk
im not going to top it, based on what others said. i heard they love water during growing season, like more
water than average potted plant. like @rockm and my girlfriends dad said, be careful with them. he had removed one from fence but a runner went under stone driveway and into their front lawn. he cant get ahead of it and its prob on their foundation now.

good luck, they are stunning for sure
 

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