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Collected oak - 2016 to now
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Author:  Brendan [ 21 May 2020, 09:46 ]
Post subject:  Collected oak - 2016 to now

I can't find my original post about this tree.

I collected it in 2015, I think. Here's the first pic I can find from 2016:

Image20160219_224255 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr

Just left it to grow and get healthy for a few years. Last season I began the ramification.

This year I am pleased with the health it has shown. A full flush of really large healthy leaves.

Image20200520_143003 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr

Image20200520_143015 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr

What I do with my oaks when I want them to ramify is make at least one hard pruning session in a season. The first is done now, about 2 weeks after leaf break.

All I do is cut back every growing point to the lowest 2 leaves. If the branch is weak or I want it to grow I may leave it, or just cut the large leaves a bit smaller. But pretty much everything else gos back to the last 2 leaves. With whorls of 4 -5 leaves I find they are stacked on top of each other and I can snip off the uppermost leaves. This forces the tree to back bud.

Here is an example of a typical branch before and after:

Image20200520_143319 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr

Image20200520_143334 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr

Here is the tree post snip:

Image20200520_144058 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr

You can see the pile of leaves I cut off on the table next to the tree.

Image20200520_144114 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr

I have left the low sacrifice branch untouched. That's just there to thicken the trunk.

Depending on how it responds I may do further selective reductions later in the season.

I will do this for 2 - 3 seasons and then I will let it have a year off to rebuild some health. I am probably going to have to repot it in the spring, and the planting angle will change, too.

Advice? Comments?

Author:  Brendan [ 21 May 2020, 10:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Collected oak - 2016 to now

Here's another trio of oaks that had the same treatment:


Image20200520_144405 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr


Image20200520_145744 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr

Author:  Jules [ 21 May 2020, 11:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Collected oak - 2016 to now

I have a couple of oaks in the ground that have been there for about five years now. They tend to get a bit leggy so I give them a rough prune now and then as I havent planned anything for them, apart from just thickening their trunks, but I will try this from now on.

Thanks for sharing Brendan.

Author:  Gary Jones [ 21 May 2020, 13:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Collected oak - 2016 to now

Good work. Agreed that now is about the time for pruning and partial defoliation to let light in and stimulate the inner and lower buds / foliage. I've started work on this on various trees and have been eyeing up my oak for a week or two.

I find with most deciduous trees they are apically dominant so for trees in development I am now being very strong on reducing the apex and upper areas and leaving much more growth on the lower areas so they can thicken up. In it's extremest form this means leaving just enough in the upper areas to keep it alive and leaving the lower areas almost untouched. It makes the trees look a little unbalanced for a while but is the most effective way (IMHO) to get the lower stuff to thicken up.

Author:  bluesky [ 22 May 2020, 23:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Collected oak - 2016 to now

I've loved oaks since I was young and each year I just love them more.
Great work Brendan!

Author:  Nutcracker [ 29 May 2020, 14:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Collected oak - 2016 to now

When's the right time to give them a trunk chop? I've got one sapling that has reached for the skies and is over 2 feet tall, pencil thin and has a bunch of leaves right at the top.

I'm thinking of chopping it right back down to about 6-8 inches. Is that a sensible idea at this time of year or not?

Author:  Gary Jones [ 29 May 2020, 18:45 ]
Post subject:  Re: Collected oak - 2016 to now

Trunk chops would normally be in autumn after fall or in spring before bud push. Currently you have a tree full of leaves that are pushing sugars and carbohydrates into it building up strength. If you chop them off it won't put on much strength this year. You could partially defoliate like Brendan has done by cutting all the leaves to one quarter of their size. This will probably make the tree think it needs more leaves, without stressing it too much, and push out new shoots - ideally lower down. Then in autumn you can chop down really low and let the side branches build to give you trunk thickening over the next few years.

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