Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak) development Qs

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Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak) development Qs

Post  Tom on Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:52 pm

Hi all,

Wonder if I could pick the brains of anyone who has grown Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak).

I have one on which I want to develop the lower branches. These are currently thin and spindly, and have suffered dieback of the inner branching leading to a loss of ramification. I have not been able to induce any back-budding, anywhere on the tree. The tree itself grows reasonably strongly, especially at the top. The leaves have reduced well, without any special effort on my part. It seems to need repotting every second year. I have not repotted this spring and do not plan to. Right now, the buds are just starting to move.




My plan is:

Year 1 (this year)
Cut back upper branches to 2 buds, taking off the terminals, to encourage side shoots. Do this repeatedly to any new shoots in the top area of the tree.
Allow lowest two branches to grow freely, no trimming at all.
Fertilise heavily.

Year 2 (or year 3, or 4 - whenever the lower branches have reached acceptable thickness)
Continue with upper branches as above. Thin out as required.
Cut back lowest two branches.

Repeat in subsequent years to build taper and ramification in lower branches.


My questions are:

When I cut the lower branches, should I cut back to the innermost buds, or can I cut back into old wood and expect shoots around the cut?
What would be the best time to make the cuts, to maximise chances of getting some new shoots - midsummer?
Is there anything else I can do to promote-back budding?

Thanks in advance for any pearls of wisdom,
Tom

Tom
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Re: Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak) development Qs

Post  Tom on Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:09 pm

Just bumping this post in case it's slipped under the radar - does anyone have any advice on my plans for this tree?
Thanks,
Tom

Tom
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Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak) development Qs

Post  Guest on Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:37 pm

Hello Tom. I didn't see this post I'm affraid. Sounds like you are giving your tree the right treatment. To induce backbudding I would recommend cutting back harder into older wood, particularly at the top. Taking out terminals is good but will not induce backbudding in anything other than the previous years growth. Leaf pruning is a way of getting light into those inner buds as well.

Guest
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Re: Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak) development Qs

Post  jrodriguez on Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:31 pm

Tom,

I really like this tree. It resembles a big tree in its winter form. I do not recommend styling this tree in the pine form, as the present stage of development is quite nice. In order to fatten the lower limbs, place the tree in a large pot, letting the bottom branches grow freely. Once you gaing the desired girth, prune and relace the terminal with a new bud. By repreating the aforementioned process you will gain the following:

1) Desired girth
2) Proportion
3) no scarring, trunk chops, etc.
4) taper

Kind regards,
Jose Luis

jrodriguez
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Re: Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak) development Qs

Post  Tom on Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:58 am

Thanks for the comments.

Will, I'll print out your advice for reference over the next couple of years. Sounds like I need to be a bit harder on the top of the tree than I had originally planned. I'll see how it reacts to cutting back and defoliating the top this summer.

Jose Luis, I agree absolutely about the styling. My goal is to end up with a tree that has a similar shape, with a canopy maybe 50% bigger than it is at present, and better branching. The image would be a middle-aged oak growing in a field, certainly not a pine.

Tom
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Re: Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak) development Qs

Post  Tom on Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:54 am

will baddeley wrote:Hello Tom. I didn't see this post I'm affraid. Sounds like you are giving your tree the right treatment. To induce backbudding I would recommend cutting back harder into older wood, particularly at the top. Taking out terminals is good but will not induce backbudding in anything other than the previous years growth. Leaf pruning is a way of getting light into those inner buds as well.

Update:

2-3 weeks ago I cut back the top hard, defoliating the top completely and cutting the branches back as far as I dared (to one or two potential bud sites).

I'm very pleased with the results - I've had a big flush of new buds. These are strong at the top of the tree, but there are also tiny red buds popping up on the lower branches and even on the trunk. It's the first real back-budding I've seen in the several years that I've had the tree.

The plan for the rest of the year is to allow free growth on the lower branches, while thinning out the top to let light penetrate. Then next year repeat the process until I get where I want....

Sometimes it pays to listen to advice - thanks Will.

Tom

Tom
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Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak) development Qs

Post  BrendanR on Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:36 pm

Update please

BrendanR
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Re: Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak) development Qs

Post  Tom on Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:22 pm

BrendanR wrote:Update please

Not much to report, just several cycles of grow out / cut back to build taper and ramification in the lower branches. That will probably go on for another 3-4 years, when the tree will be vaguely where I want it. Cut most of the top off to balance the grown, has now grown back.

Tom
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Re: Quercus cerris (Turkey Oak) development Qs

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