Trident Trunk Chop


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Fairfax, VA
Ok, even the maple leave haven't started to push here yet. I'm about to do a first Chop on a Trident (Field Grown & about 3" in diameter). I've read (Brent @ Evergreen)that you should wait until the leaves come out before you trunk chop because the energy stored in the roots will produce coarse long internode growth. The article also states that this would be ideal for my situation, ie first chop where you expect a second trunk chop later. So my question is: Should I chop before the leaves emerge, during or after they emerge? And if before is the now a good time?
If you read that you should wait why are you asking?
I'd say consider your source. If your source is Brent Walston then he probably knows what he's talking about. I'm sure he's done a couple of trunk chops. could decide not to decide and then apparently you've made a decision ;)
That second line reminds me of something for some reason. Hope I didn't sound rude but when you quote a guy who not only does it for a living but is also highly respected (those two don't always go together mind you) I get frustrated. Maybe I'm cynical but it seems you want to chop now and are looking for someone to say it's okay regardless of what you've already learned. Hopefully I'm wrong.
I think his question is, if you don't care about having long coarse internode growth, should you chop before the leaves emerge. Reasonable question - no need to get snippy with him.
It really doesn't matter if the internode length is long at this point, as you're not refining the tree's branching. You're looking to develop the next section of the trunk--you're looking for strong leader growth to take over as the apex--which is what Brent refers to in the section you've quoted. Chopping before leaves emerge would be OK, and might produce more budding down the trunk below the chop.

I'd chop straight across the trunk at your desired point, wait for new shoots to pop around the cut site, chose the most appropriate, refine the chop (cut it again at a slant away from the new lead shoot) allow the new shoot to grow unhindered until it attains the desired diameter, then chop it at the appropriate height...and so on...
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Sorry Steve, I don't think I asked my question properly. It was more of a question of my interpretation. I wasn't sure I correctly understood what I read.

Thanks RockM for the clarification.
I reaplologize that it sounded rude. Appearntly my explaination was taken the same way by some since even after apologizing they felt the need to pipe up. sigh. Guess I was having one of those days.
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