Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

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Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Sun 13 Aug 2017, 2:49 am

Open discussion please. Mine is Tsuga canadensis. Any magazine issues I should keep an eye out for? I looked through some of my books and the best I could find was in a pruning book that said:" makes a great hedge with twice yearly cutting."
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed 16 Aug 2017, 6:58 pm

hoping someone chimes in here...
i scored a nice weeping one last year and would love to know better how to treat it to promote back budding, etc...

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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Wed 16 Aug 2017, 7:24 pm

I forgot about Nick Lenz' book, "Bonsai from the Wild," which does have some good general care recommendations, but nothing about pruning approaches. I did some minor pruning on mine last night to remove growth that was crossing between branches, as well as cleaning up the growth on the sacrifice branches, and reducing some branches towards the top that were starting to get out of balance. I figure I might as well experiment on the sacrifice growth so I can see if it will bud back if I leave a stub with leaves. In general it seems to be forgiving, but it is tricky making some decisions.
For good measure I managed to "trim" my toe and shin on the stairs on the way to put the tree back outside (avoiding mosquitoes). I really did a number on my toe and am limping around nicely today. Don't worry, the tree and pot are fine.
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  Dave Leppo on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 3:34 am

I haven't found them to back-bud reliably. Sort of like Chamaecyparis, where you have to try to keep the close-in growth you have and work with it.

Murata, in "Four Seasons..." says to pinch or trim all the new spring growth, and more will come out in the summer that is tighter and neater. This is more of a finished-maintenance activity, not the design phase.

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Tsuga growth

Post  MrFancyPlants on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 8:05 pm

Thanks for the reference, I've already ordered a used copy of the book. I know that it is unlikely/impossible for Tsuga to bud back on wood, but thought that as long as I left some green that there was a  chance that I could get buds. Fortunately, to this point I have mainly focused on branch selection with a preference for inner growth and natural looking lines. I have heard that these take to grafting quite well which doesn't surprise me given their prodigious would callousing ability, so at some point I may resort to some thread grafts to really get the growth in where I want it, if any of the branches are getting too far out. I do have a lot to work with on the inside and will experiment some with different techniques on the sacrifice growth to try and push the limits as to how far back I can go into the growth and still expect buds. I'll try and root some cuttings in the spring as well so that I have more to experiment on and because I could use a nice shade tree in the back yard.
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  BrendanR on Wed 23 Aug 2017, 2:08 pm

I have one that I have been clip-and-grow pruning for a couple of years since December 2015 to make it more dense. Seems to work.

I started by wiring the branches into place and cutting back in winter anything too long or too awkward, and leaving the rest untrimmed if it was within the rough silhouette that I was after.  

It shot in spring 2016, and I left the new buds to lengthen and harden off.  Some came from the cuts, some from points further back from the cuts (but nothing on old wood) and some came from the untrimmed branches.

Late spring 2016 I trimmed back to any new bud closest to the trunk.  Quite a bit came off this way.  Obviously only where I needed to make changes.  Some parts were left alone to thicken, lengthen etc.

That second trimming resulted in a second flush.  Left alone until the winter 2016, when I repeated the exercise.  

This spring I trimmed again, and have had a good second flush.  I have needed to keep loads of green as I am trying to heal some very bug cuts.
I have been at it for 3 years, and it is dense and quite healthy.


Here it is as it arrived:







I'll take some pics this afternoon of it now and pop them here, tomorrow.

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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 11:10 pm

Thanks for the input. I am curious to see the update and/or older photos of the material when you get the chance. I am somewhat surprised to see a canadensis across the pond, although I've heard that the species is used for forestry in some parts of Europe. I wonder why we don't? It would seem to be an effective form of "carbon capture."
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  BrendanR on Thu 31 Aug 2017, 3:51 pm

Here are some pics from this morning.


 Also, here's a link to my flickr album where the there are more pics, and you can really zoom in.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/81136818@N06/albums/72157668961234636


I put a little stone in the pot so that you can see which side you are looking at.  In pic 1 it is on the LHS, then the stone is behind the trunk, then on the RHS and finally in front:



20170831_074817 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr





I have a feeling this is going to be the front of the tree:

20170831_074827 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr


20170831_074837 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr


20170831_074901 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr



Here are a few close-ups of the branches.  When I started these were long and did not really have much ramification.  I have progressively clipped back to any new shoots, and when new side shoots appear behind them I have cut back again to those new side shoots.  Always seeking to get the closest bifurcation as far back towards the trunk as possible.  


20170831_082215 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr


20170831_082227 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr


20170831_082235 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr




In this pic you can see the red line showing where I snipped the tip of this branch some time ago.  It was straight, had no side branches.  After the snip it put out a small side branch just behind the yellow line.  I shall next cut it back to the yellow line.

My experience is that it will then push out new branches further back.  Clip 'n grow working well on this tree.


2017-08-31_03-33-30 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr


I am being quite careful not to do too much all at once as I am learning what the tree will tolerate, so only a few branches at a time, and only in a few places on the tree.  This has been safe enough, and it also allowed me to compare trimmed v untrimmed branches.  I am quite sure that the trimming causes ramification, and can be used to control direction of growth and curves etc.  

Have you notice the serious inverse taper problem I have at the base of the tree?  I am likely going to have to carve it some more.  But wow they produce a load of gummy sap!

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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri 01 Sep 2017, 8:29 pm

Awesome, thanks so much, that is super informative.  I'll start by saying that mine never produced gummy sap or bled even when I chopped the top, so I would be careful that it might be a type of slime mold or jelly fungus? I have nothing to back that up other than that mine doesn't bleed and yours looks plenty healthy.  I think some hollowing could add character, and maybe adding some sacrifice growth from the base of some of the branches as well as the top could help get around the reverse taper. Mine has reverse taper too, but I've felt it is not too distracting with all of the beautiful foliage.  I don't think the reverse taper is too bad on yours, but these do tend to heal strongly but thick, if that makes sense, so removing branches with a little extra concavity is probably not a bad idea. Maybe repotting a little higher up next time to show more neberi could also help lessen the impact?

What sort of timing do you use for your clipping? A branch at a time throughout the growing season when the shoots get too long?  I was also thinking of doing some light peripheral hedging(removing just the tips of nearly all of the branches) this fall to try and encourage more buds to set further in, but I like your technique for next year. Maybe starting with the bottom branches and working my way up the tree every couple weeks so that the lower branches would have more growing season to recover.

edit: I see from your earlier post that you detailed your timing, and not too far off from what I am now planning. Thanks again.
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri 20 Apr 2018, 4:58 pm

Here is an update after a workshop with Roy Nagatoshi.  I still have the sacrifice on the apex, that I hope will generate enough growth to try out some ramification techniques this season.  I was planning on doing some surface root work, but on the teacher's advice, I'll save that for the next repotting in a couple years.  Fingers crossed for some vigorous growth this season.

for BrendanR:
 Using your example, I wonder if I am too late to add some "red line" cuts like in your example? Master Nagatoshi, being from the hotter part of California, didn't have much experience with Hemlock or their growth habits.  Maybe a mild, silhouette, scissor trim to stimulate some auxins before bud break?  Or should I let the workshop branch removal (~25% foliage reduction) styling do the stimulating and re-approach in a month or so once we see how it responds to select some bifurcation then?


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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sat 21 Apr 2018, 6:23 pm

SOLID INFO on difficult material !

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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  Vitusus on Mon 23 Apr 2018, 10:38 am

I think that Ryan Neil had some comments on pruning this or similar species in his BSOP video series, not sure if it was Post-growth management or Fall physiology one but in one of them there was definitely a pruning of this.

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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Mon 23 Apr 2018, 1:33 pm

I looked through the public videos and although there was a ton of great info I think Douglas Fir was the closest to this type of growth, and there are some significant differences how they might respond. Also since I am about ready to transition to refinement, my approach will likely be unique due to circumstances. I’ll try to watch again soon since I know he does cover the transition to refinement.
I am trying to get better about timing my operations and sticking to a regimen, but I am work in progress in that regard. My instinct is telling me to wait and see how it responds to the current reduction, and if it is showing tons of growth in a month or two, I can trim back much of the new growth, while. trying to preserve the natural habit, and leaving weak inner areas to extend uninhibited. If there is some inner growth that I want to move to, I’ll save the larger reductions until next winter
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  BrendanR on Thu 26 Apr 2018, 1:10 pm

It has just been styled so you really should do nothing more ant let it recover. If you must try something pick one branch and not a vital one and give it a few test cuts. I wouldn't personally do anything until I saw healthy growth all over again.

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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Thu 26 Apr 2018, 10:12 pm

Cheers, I definitely won't touch unless it responds with some strong growth. I'm still a little the fence about how to respond assuming strong growth.

BrendanR, forgive me for even questioning your methods as you have shown great results.. But I'm seem to have veered off of your schedule with this spring styling. i.e. I am still a work in progress about sticking to a regimen.

Per Vitusus suggestion I'm rewatching Ryan Neal's "growth perpetuation" free lecture and he implies several rounds of "pinching" or fine clipping to push the growth towards the inner buds for spruce. Hemlock is noted as having a similar response. One way that I believe Eastern hemlock respond differently than Spruce or even the types of western Hemlock is that I get extension well into Summer and then another smaller push of growth in the fall.

This is all assuming strong growth. I will listen to the tree to make sure it is healthy. Several years from now, I may end up attempting some "in-arch" grafts if the branches are too lanky, but it will be good to have control of the growth if it comes to that.
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  LanceMac10 on Thu 26 Apr 2018, 10:57 pm

Heavy fert schedule?
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Thu 26 Apr 2018, 11:54 pm

Yes, a local club member turned me on to these agriform fertilizer tablets. They seem to be industrial strength. Just noticing the buds beginning to push.
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  Thomas Urban on Fri 27 Apr 2018, 10:00 am

Hi,

Since you just styled it and even your intuition is telling you to wait, I would go with your gut. I am not sure why you didn't do the hard cuts during the styling? As you say the tree is days away from being too late to make major prunes and is going to be in an energy negative until the new growth hardens off.

Now it's all about the balance of water and oxygen and heavily fertilizing. Then if it grows well, then feel free to prune back to branches and pairs closer to the trunk which will help you get rid od the long branches. Then the year after if all is well, you should get another push of buds closer to the trunk.

In any case it's an elongating species and so every year you have the guarantee that the tree will either focus on the roots or the branches depending which on needs it the most.

Cheers : )
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri 27 Apr 2018, 1:06 pm

I appreciate the input. I did do bigger cuts during the styling, but it was more branch selection than cutting back for ramification. Now that I see signs of life, it is tempting to trim back to active buds before the extension.. do the bifurcation selection now and hopefully simulate some back budding? I still have an apical sacrive in place that should keep the general flow going. Alternatively, I could just rub off some of the external buds to encourage the growth where I want it.
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  Thomas Urban on Fri 27 Apr 2018, 2:20 pm

I would use the flow of the tree and foliar material to push the need forward, I know you want to move the tree forward regarding design but if you just wait a couple months for everything to harden off I think you will have a better reaction than if you did it now. The tree is now saying that it has room to grow, but if you cut it off now the recovery might slow it down abruptly and actually postpone the final product. It's only a couple months and you'll have no worries that you went too far at once. This is what I would do.
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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri 27 Apr 2018, 4:00 pm

I am listening to bonsaimirai's growth perpetuation, and I'm realizing that even as I am approaching refinement, I am still well within the development phase.
I'll summarize a snippet that stuck out to me:

Development mode for elongating species:
Allow to elongate/harden and wait for backbud. Likely to see back buds in fall. Prune tip back to established buds in Fall or following year. More foliage = more budding.


Again, thanks everyone for the input.  I apologize for being all over the place with my strategy; Sometimes, I just have to put down the sheers. Now I will leave it alone and let it get shaggy until fall and re-approach.  I think this tree is really meant to have dreadlocks anyways.  Here are a couple pictures from July 2014;  two years after collection and half a year before it's initial repotting.


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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sat 28 Apr 2018, 5:36 pm

this has been an educational thread so far...
i know very little about these, but have several...

I will be following along for the ride and using some of this on mine...

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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Thu 10 May 2018, 4:53 pm

Strong signs of growth, but not as much backbudding from older needles as I hoped for following the trimming it received this spring..   I'm still planning on staying the course and not cutting until fall or next spring. I do however need to reapply a couple guy wires soon.



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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  M. Frary on Sat 12 May 2018, 12:01 pm

So in Mirai world eastern cedar and hemlock are in the same made up "elongaring" category as larch.
Or yew.
And some people think he knows all about bonsai.
Who makes up a whole category for trees that aren't pines or junipers and lumps them all in together?
Someone who isn't familiar with trees that aren't pines or junipers,that's who.

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Re: Tsuga, hemlock or "extending growth," type, clip and grow strategies?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Sat 12 May 2018, 1:12 pm

Point taken M. Frary . And BrendanR has given documented evidence of they type of progress I’d like to make for this tree. Maybe I do chase back this growth and do some bifurcation selection one it has hardened off as he suggests as I would really like to see some buds on some of those older needles this fall. It is a little tricky to determine what hardened off is when the growth since it tends to extend through late summer, take a break bedore the smaller extension in the fall.

Do you have experience with Tsuga M. Frary? Care to elaborate on any recommendations to stimulate more inner growth?
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