Saturday, May 5, 2007

Garry Oaks - a solution?

This year I de-budded half of my garry oaks, in December. By de-budding, I refer to the practice of removing the terminal bud from the branches of the tree.
Why? The horse chestnut has a very dominant apical bud. So much so that the horse chestnut will grow as a single branch for many years - with no branching at all. The solution to causing the tree to branch is to remove the apical but before or while the but is swelling. The secondary buds then burst forth bringing many branches in many direction, each of which with their own apical dominance.
The garry oak seeding is a slow growing, stringy tree. Removing the buds could promote branching, and more branches also means the tree puts on wight faster.
My de-budded garry oaks are developing about 5 to 7 branches per twig, up from 1 to 3. I think the technique will help.

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