Almond tree seedling

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Almond tree seedling

Post  dasickle on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:52 pm

Hi,

I have a question about when to trim/cut a rapidly growing seedling.

When I was overseas this summer I came across an almond tree so I decided to pick a few fresh nuts and bring them with me back home. When I got home I took off the outer green shell, soaked them in water for 8 hours and then put them in the fridge for 90 days. Two of the seeds sprouted. I planted them in small pots and put them in on a heating pad. Not even a week later I could see the tap root and some green leafs. One seedling is growing very very fast, its about 11 inches/28 cm and it has about 8 levels of leafs with about 3 more that are about to fully open.

So my question is do I cut the top or do I wait until the trunk hardens and the seedling is stronger?

I have attached an image of both seedlings. They both were planted at the same time about 3 weeks ago but the one on the left is much smaller and my guess is its because the tap root didnt fully develop and is pointing upward but there are lateral roots growing out of it.



Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  leatherback on Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:44 pm

I would personally wire the sapling, and give it some shape before it hardens off. You can just let it grow untamed for a bit, and just cut it back when you start to get closer to the desired trunk thickness. Make sure you don't let the taproot get out of hand though...
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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  dasickle on Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:05 pm

leatherback wrote:I would personally wire the sapling, and give it some shape before it hardens off. You can just let it grow untamed for a bit, and just cut it back when you start to get closer to the desired trunk thickness. Make sure you don't let the taproot get out of hand though...

I was thinking of wiring it but jus scared that it will break or something. Its only been growing for 3 weeks you know. Regarding tap root, I heard many different ways and times of doing it. When do you think would be the best time to cut it and how much?

Also, if I dont cut the seedling its just going to grow even taller but will it branch out? I want some nice branches closer to the bottom of the tree.

Thanks for your input

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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  JimLewis on Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:28 pm

Well the taproot isn't going to get "out of hand" in that little pot, so you can quit thinking about that. In fact, you may want to wait until it is transplanted into a bit larger (but still shallow) pot that will allow side branches to form and the trunk to thicken. You have a LONG way to go on this before you start thinking "bonsai."

As for wiring, I think I'd hold off until the "trunk" at least starts to lignify. You might pinch off the growing tip, however, to give it an urge to pop some of the hidden buds lower on the stem. Then move it to that larger, shallow pot next spring.

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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  dasickle on Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:33 pm

JimLewis wrote:Well the taproot isn't going to get "out of hand" in that little pot, so you can quit thinking about that. In fact, you may want to wait until it is transplanted into a bit larger (but still shallow) pot that will allow side branches to form and the trunk to thicken. You have a LONG way to go on this before you start thinking "bonsai."

As for wiring, I think I'd hold off until the "trunk" at least starts to lignify. You might pinch off the growing tip, however, to give it an urge to pop some of the hidden buds lower on the stem. Then move it to that larger, shallow pot next spring.

Oh I am not even thinking about bonsai just yet. My main concern is that it has grown 12 inches in 3 weeks and from the looks of it will double that in the next 2 weeks. What I really am trying to figure out is 1) should I cut the top off? 2) If I do then how much (inches or leaf sections)? 3) Since its only been 3 weeks is the plant strong enough to handle it?

Your thoughts on that would be much appreciated.


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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  JimLewis on Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:46 pm

I said pinch it off. Just take off the top of the stem with a few leaves. That will promote side branching, if not now, next spring.

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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  dasickle on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:17 pm

JimLewis wrote:I said pinch it off. Just take off the top of the stem with a few leaves. That will promote side branching, if not now, next spring.

Ok sorry for being repetitive I just really want to make sure to cut it in the right place.

I attached an image with 3 possible places to cut.


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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  Neli on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:34 pm

I am a newbie with bonsai but I know that whenever I chop a plant's tip it tends to sprout from the top few buds, Hope that helps.
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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  JimLewis on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:46 pm

Any of those spots will do. And yes, it will sprout at the top, but it also can encourage sprouts lower on the stem. This plant is VERY young, though. Don't expect too much.

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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  dasickle on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:16 pm

JimLewis wrote:Any of those spots will do. And yes, it will sprout at the top, but it also can encourage sprouts lower on the stem. This plant is VERY young, though. Don't expect too much.

Great, thanks for certification.

Some people also suggested taking it off the heating pad which didnt make much sense to me. I though it would help with root development.

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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  Sakaki on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:23 pm

Hi dasicle,

I regret to inform you that lifetime of almond tree is not so long.
Almond trees in our region have an average life span of 20 years or so.

Taner
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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  dasickle on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:05 am

Sakaki wrote:Hi dasicle,

I regret to inform you that lifetime of almond tree is not so long.
Almond trees in our region have an average life span of 20 years or so.

Taner

Hi thanks for your input. The almond tree that I collected the nuts from are from northern ukraine and it was huge. Hmm I dont know maybe its different the the Mediterranean kind.

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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  Oliver Muscio on Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:42 am

We had an almond orchard in California. Last I saw them, the trees were at least 30 years old and still going strong, most of them. However, they are related to stone fruit (peaches, plums, etc.) and subject to similar diseases and pests such as borers.
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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  Sakaki on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:15 am

Oliver Muscio wrote:We had an almond orchard in California. Last I saw them, the trees were at least 30 years old and still going strong, most of them. However, they are related to stone fruit (peaches, plums, etc.) and subject to similar diseases and pests such as borers.
Oliver

Hi Oliver,

You're right! My cousin has an almond orchard that he purchased from someone else 5-6 years ago for a cheap price.
The trees were 13-14 years old (avg.) when he purchased (this is why the price was cheap). Last year he lost some of them, and some of them has stopped fruitting.
Now he dig up the old ones & replace them with younger ones, however there are some which still fruits though they are over 30 years old. I think it is a natural selection depending on many factors as you've said Smile
But I think the one growing in a pot will have relatively shorter life span in any case.

@ dasickle,

The soil where my cousin's almond trees were planted contains almost 40-45% lime. He says almond trees like lime (high pH soils).
I never searched for it as I am not interested in almond trees, but it worths for you to google it.

Good luck
Taner
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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  my nellie on Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:55 am

Christoz wrote:Hi Alexandria

Here are some images of the tree, is it possible with this tree?
Hello, Christos!
I'd suggest that some moderator moves these last posts to the original thread you started here so that all replies are got together.
Until then, my first reply to your original question is "yes, of course you can start training" this little tree of yours!
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Re: Almond tree seedling

Post  BrendanR on Wed May 03, 2017 10:58 am

Preserve the lowest pair of leaves at all costs.  I don't know this species, but if you want to have a bonsai tree from seed the fastest way to do it is to let it grow for a year and then when it goes dormant you chop it back to the lowest pair of leaves.  As long as it has gone completely leafless for a couple of weeks that should be fine, as it will have used the process of going dormant to store the reserves it pulled from all the leaves into the roots, ready for the next spring.

The next phase is to watch as it starts to wake up in the spring.  As the buds swell and burst from the chop point you want to force it to ramify.  The fact that you cut back to 2 leaves it should do this spontaneously.  You will see buds forming in the axils of the leaves, suggesting you are getting 2 trunks growing from your chopped trunk.  

Once the buds are fully formed and about to burst into leaf, or even a few days after, you can gently lift the tree and sever the taproot.  This is a safe time to do this as the root would have depleted its reserves by sending them up to the buds.  Also, there were more reserves in the roots than were needed, as the bulk of the tree was cut-off.  Put it back into the same pot. You can even just leave the tap-root in place.

The net effect in the season immediately following the trunk and root chop is that you will get at least 2 new trunk lines, and obviously the roots will develop a more fibrous ball.  Don't feed it until there are at least 2 new pairs of leafs per new trunk.  Feeding will cause the internodes to be long and straight, whereas you need them as short as possible.  

Assuming it grows well you will then have trunks that have hopefully short internodes.  I could not resist drawing it on my phone - apologies for the lack of skills...

2 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr

From there I would probably pick the trunk with the shorter interodes as my new tree, and grow the other as a sacrifice leader.  And I'd do my first wiring of the main trunk for shape.  Growing the one side as long as possible will thicken that side up, as well as the main trunk below.  The other side you start to develop your ramification as soon as possible.  If you are lucky after 3 - 4 seasons you have a tree with a side that is shaped and tapered, with a shallow root ball, that you can put into a bonsai pot.  Chop off the sacrifice long trunk and your tree will have some character.


But that's for the future.

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Re: Almond tree seedling

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