Well, it was a year ago this tree showed up in my garden for some TLC:
The plan from the original postwas:
1. Expose it to sunlight.
Sited under the high canopy of an oak tree, it got good morning sun, and dappled afternoon shade all year, sited among Japanese maples and azaleas.
2. Feed it well.
Check! Those familiar with my feeding regime will know this to be true. Plantone cakes all year, with weekly (or more) drenches of fish/kelp.
3. Remove old needles to allow sunlight and air circulation.
4. Remove wires.
5. Remove the moss and weeds from the soil, aerate.
Yep…though it was a constant battle.
6. Encourage or create growth closer to the trunk.
Nope. Though, it’s strong enough that grafting is now a viable option.
What did I miss originally? Water! Specifically…much less water. Sited where it has been, watering every 5 days has been plenty.
Next steps? Start to identify some spots and scions for approach grafts to push growth closer to the trunk. It’s a long process, but a good 5-7 year plan.