Last year I wired and repotted a group of crabapples from 2″ pots to 4″ pots. As the shapes of the lower trunks are set, the goal this year is to thicken the trunks. To facilitate this, I’ve left last year’s sacrifice branches in place and moved the trees into one gallon cans.
Young crabapple in one gallon can
The three sacrifice branches will help thicken the trunk and produce taper. The branch rising straight up will thicken the lower part of the trunk, the sacrifice branch to its right will thicken the top part of the trunk, and the branch growing to the right will thicken the middle part of the trunk.
Future trunk with sacrifice branches
Using multiple sacrifice branches produces taper as the lowest section of the trunk benefits from all three sacrifice branches, the middle section benefits from two sacrifice branches, and the top section of the trunk benefits from the uppermost sacrifice branch.
I’ve really fallen for this species as the flowers are beautiful – a mix of deep pink, pale pink, and white with yellow anthers (the flower parts that distribute pollen at the end of the filaments).
I’ll revisit these trees in May or June and consider wiring new shoots to refine or extend the line of the trunk.
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Doug Zeeff says
Jonas, I have several healthy suckers starting on my flowering crabapples this spring. When I remove them can I root the cuttings or would it be a waste of time? The trees are in the ground now for trunk development.
Jonas Dupuich says
Hi Doug! I’d expect you can root the cuttings, or grow them from root cuttings when it’s time to dig the tree. The big questions about suckers is whether or not they are helpful to thicken the part of the trunk you want to thicken. Often suckers emerge so low on the trunk that it’s better to remove them sooner rather than later to encourage growth elsewhere (higher on the trunk). Hope this helps!
Doug Zeeff says
Thanks Jonas. These suckers are actually out of the roots. I think I will remove them and stick them in some water just for fun. I may try a thread graft on a part of the tree that is going to be cut off for practice. Thanks for your posts. I really look forward to them.