Late winter haircut for the Hawthorn

Happy Leap Day! The density of this tree is steadily improving, but the middle right side is a little behind…still…5 full years after removing a few main branches in that area. I guess if I was really trying to fix it, I’d put the thing in a big wood box, but I don’t want to destroy the what ramification is present on the rest of the tree. So we plod along.

Here is the tree in winter, before any pruning.

I started by removing heavy branches in dense areas, reducing whorls to pairs, and shortening long runners to outward-facing buds. Here is an example, before:


A root at the front died a few years ago, and I carved it down a little to more closely approximate the original trunk chop.


A close-up of the original trunk chop. It is showing some age. I particularly like the back left portion.

I placed a thread graft 3 years ago, through the tallest trunk, to fill in that bald spot on the right side. It is growing but really not thickening. It will remain attached until I’m confident it has taken.

Before and after side by side shows some pruning results and a little light wiring on the right side.

This dark shot shows the branching nicely. The strength is evened out, and branches show better, more consistent taper throughout. Still a long way to to finish out the middle right area, but directionally correct.

And, shots almost exactly 5 years apart, late January 2015 and early February 2020:

From the old photo, it is clear I have let the tree grow a bit narrower and taller over the last few years, and I think I’d like to let the lower canopy broaden again.

I may also skip repotting this year, or find a slightly deeper pot to slip-pot it into and see if that will encourage some stronger growth.


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