One of the relatively new trees in my garden is a Japanese flowering quince ‘chojubai.’ As I purchased the tree from Boon bare-root, I’ve mainly focused on letting the tree gain vigor. Toward this end, I’ve been watering, feeding and removing flowers and flower buds when I can.
Japanese flowering quince ‘chojubai’
Like many chojubai, mine blooms a bit all year round, making the removal of flowers something of a part-time job. If I don’t remove them in a timely fashion, small fruit appear.
I can’t vouch one way or the other as to whether fruit from Japanese flowering quince have culinary value. After a less than satisfactory experience with unripe princess persimmon, I’m content to let others lead the way.
As the tree has become fairly vigorous, now is a good time for cutback and wiring. It was an excellent time to begin removing the thorns. Thorns are common feature in chojubai, and removing them is a common practice.
After removing the thorns
As you might imagine, the cutback and thorn removal took a long time. The work was pleasant as it forced me to examine every branch closely which helped me better understand how the tree had grown into its current shape and what might be in store for its future.
Once I got to work, the wiring went relatively quickly. When I was done, the tree started to suggest its future shape.
Chojubai – after wiring
From the back
Within days of the initial cutback, new buds started appearing – both leaf buds and flower buds. I’ll continue to remove the flower buds and encourage all new growth as the main goal at this point is to increase foliage density. I’ll consider repotting the tree in late fall or early spring.
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