What is this?


 Abnormal growths on one of my satsuki azaleas.  Anyone any ideas how to treat/prevent from reoccurring?

Japanese Cedar Summer Work


Before. Summer 2015

Time to thin out excess growth on this cryptomeria japonica that’s in the growing bed.  A lot of growth over the past year and the branches are now starting to lignify.


After thinning.

I reduced the height and reduced branches at the new apex.  Bottom branches were left longer and the lowest untouched as they are sacrifice branches.  I plan to lift this next year and inspect the roots. I also have another one pictured below that I’m not training, just letting it grow unchecked for comparison’s sake.


Japanese Maple Partial Defoliation

DSC_0374I’ve been planning to  defoliate this maple for a while now but as usual never got round to it.  It was briefly critiqued by Peter Warren earlier in the year and he’d pointed out that there was a problem with the direction of the tree.  I had assumed the tree was going to the viewer’s right due to the thickest branches and lowest branch being that side.  It was potted last year with this in mind, slightly to the left.  However, the trunk does the opposite and so the result is a bit of confusion for the viewer and a lack of overall harmony.  I can’t do much about the trunk so I’m going to try and increase girth of branches going in the same direction (the viewer’s left) so that eventually they will be more dominant and produce more foliage.  The branching on the right will be kept shorter.  The left side hasn’t been that vigorous, very small internodes produced and no extension in some places.  I decided to investigate the root mass and lift it out of the pot incase of any pest problem but none was evident.  It was pot bound though so I’ve decided just as a temporary measure to wire it into a slightly bigger plastic container with a thin layer of new soil on the bottom and around.  Hopefully this will help the tree through the winter until, all being well, I can root prune in spring so that it sits deeper into the green ceramic pot.



Sawara Cypress Annual Trim

I meant to lift this tree earlier in the year and begin to train it in a shallow pot but never got round to it.  Another year in the ground just means more thickening of the trunk and branches and that’s fine.  Time now for some pruning to improve branch/trunk taper and let more light into the interior to hopefully promote backbudding where necessary.  Quite a lot of foliage was removed and I’m pleasantly surprised with the tree like image that has been produced already.  I’m looking forward to getting it in a pot and refining it next year.


Before. July 2015

The most significant pruning was at the apex where the trunk split into two equally thick apexes.  I pruned off the one on the viewer’s left and now with the remaining apex on the right, the flow of the whole tree is improved and in better harmony.



European Hornbeam Modifications

I recently finally got around to airlayering the top of this tree in training.  The trunk is much too tall and the apex curves, ruining the formal upright image of the rest of the tree.  The tree should look less lanky in future with the top removed.  Still tall but hopefully elegant as opposed to unsightly.  I also finally performed a threadgraft on the lower trunk to hopefully fill in a large gap on one side.  The lowest branch used to perform the graft was kept with foliage to promote quick growth.  The defoliation of the rest of the tree will hopefully help this too.


Before. July 2015. Note the bare section of trunk on the lower right.


The threadgraft on the lower right. In front of my fingers you can see a back branch that naturally curves round to that side. Its being grown on anyway in case the graft fails.

After a few years of clip and grow I’m happy with how the ramification and branch taper is starting to develop.




 Since this last photo, I’ve decided to decided to defoliate the entire bottom branch as well. The airlayer should make a nice wee shohin tree but if it takes will have to be kept in the greenhouse as it’s late in the season to perform this kind of work.