My recent posts on cork oaks feature trees that were removed from the ground this past winter. The goal for those trees is to simply get healthy and develop strong roots so they can withstand further work next year.
The cork oak below was removed from the ground in 2015 – one year earlier. The tree is strong but lacks branches low on the trunk.
Cork oak – 18 months out of the ground
Cork oak typically sprout buds where they are cut. Here are two examples of this where branches were cut when the tree was dug.
Two branches emerging below the cut
Five branches emerging below a cut
To stimulate lower branches, I removed the long, straight portion of the trunk.
After shortening the trunk
I’ll let the remaining branches run for the time being but will wire them so they develop some movement close to the trunk. I’m not sure if I’ll use these branches or not at this point, but I do know that I need a new leader which will require time to develop.
I also have a feeling the angle of the trunk will change during the next repotting. I don’t like it when the trunk emerges straight up from the soil. By tilting the tree to the left, I can create movement and get a better idea of where I want the future branches to emerge.
Tilted to the left
That’s it for the time being. I’ll continue to feed the tree heavily this year in hopes of stimulating new branches and will work with what I get when it’s time for the next round of improvements.