Stewartia summer pruning

Stewartia is a hearty grower, and this one has been trimmed back several times already this season. However, simply pruning around the profile seems to create some coarse whorls and shoots that will need to be removed later anyway. So this time (mid-July) I went through the tree, branch by branch, and reduced shoots to pairs of leaves throughout the tree, and removed those shoots that were too coarse to use in the design. In essence, I did a winter pruning in mid-summer.

A shot showing a branch after pruning. Note how branch transitions are not coarse, and all shoots have 2 buds, pruned to an outward-facing bud.
After pruning, the tree is still pretty dense, but well-balanced, top to bottom.
The money shot
The base and bark is beautiful!

Stewartia spring pruning

I wired several branches of this Stewartia over the winter, but really wanted to allow the tree to develop a rather natural branch structure, as Stewartia do well in pots. Here is a shot before leafing out:

Stewartia is a strong grower, and requires regular cut back. When wires were just starting to tighten, they were removed. The thin bark can scar, and I don’t want to have any scars on the branches. Below is a shot just after first pruning and wires removed in May.

After wires were removed, the tree took off growing strong again. It’s in a shady spot and dries out quickly, but also grows well. Here is a photo from a few weeks later.

Cut back:

Nice display shot.

In a few weeks, I’ll eliminate areas of congestion and put it back on the bench to finish the season.

Stewartia fall work

This tree has been in a pot for two growing seasons now, and is coming along well.

And with the leaves now gone:

Areas that are a bit too heavy can be addressed.

A little wire, to keep it looking fairly natural, and the work for the fall is nearly done. The apex needs to be moved just a bit to the right.

A guy-wire should do the trick:

Subtle, but necessary for good balance.