Chinese Quince, 2 years of work

I like the look of Chinese Quince when they’re grown thoughtfully, with lots of movement and taper.  The longer I train them, the more I appreciate the work that is required to make something that likes to grow long, straight, and taperless into something that looks like this:

To get a quince to look that refined requires constant trimming and wiring.  Beginning in spring 2017, I started with pruning branches short, wiring several branches down:


And letting it grow for a few weeks…


Then pruning it back, and wiring the green shoots down in May:

And again in July:



In late September, the wire was biting in, and removed:



A light trimming back, and it can coast for the rest of the year.  It will be pruned again after leaf fall.

Fall color…November 2017.

Here is a leafless shot from December ’17

Light pruning, and wiring a few rogue branches in place:

2018…

By late March 2018 it was leafed out again:

And in mid-April, young shoots were wired to add some wiggle, and the crown was lightly pruned back. Before:

After:

Once the wire starts to hit in and the shoots lignify, the wires will be removed, the branches will be pruned back to one or two leaves, and allowed to grow again. Meanwhile, the shedding bark adds some interest for sure.

Aafter a few weeks of growth, it developed rust, and I ended up having to heavily prune it and unwire it. A bit disappointing, but hard-pruning is really what develops character.

After:

So, in mid-July 2018, it had grown enough to wire again:

Below is early August 2018, and if you’re not keeping track at home, this represents the fourth pruning this season, and I suspect it will produce another flush. It will be good to see this one leafless again.

Before:

After:

Mid-August, and the wires were digging in, so the tree was unwired and lightly pruned again. Before:

After:

If you’re counting, that’s 5 times the tree was pruned back and wired this year.

Fall color was good too:

And when it was leafless, here is the result of the year’s efforts:

Still some rough areas, and I think eventually these secondaries will probably need to be shortened again. For now, just the straight and heavy areas are pruned.

Then every branch is wired.

So here is the side-by-side after 2 years of building branches. Can’t wait to see what the next 2 years brings!

Next spring, a repot and some work on the nebari.

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