Need advice on training wisteria into a tree. Would like to have plated trunk .Anyone ever do this?
Training to a tree: use a sturdy stake close enough to be useful and far enough away that the trunk won't engulf it.
Trim off the side shoots as the plant grows up. Beware of the underground suckers, if it is a variety with those tendencies. Pull them, not cut.
If it's a very lax sort, you might want to give it one of those metal standard and ring things used for weeping roses until its trunk gets to about two inches thick. A sacrificial support is best if you want the tree to stand alone.
(If you have room, they can be quite spectacular with an upright trunk that then cascades and flows over the ground.)
Can't help with the braids, sorry.
How much room is needed for the tree form? What type--or how tall should the stake be? I just dug up a wild one that has 2 branches and is about 20 inches tall. Should I cut one of them off or could the two be entwined?
I recently purchased a wisteria tree online. Unfortunately when I planted it, the original stem (or trunk), which was already 2' tall, did not come out of dormancy - It looked dead. A few days later, new growth started to show around the base of the tree, so I cut the old stem to promote the new growth.
The new growth has continued to thrive, but there are multiple shoots. Am I correct to believe that I can pick the strongest one, pull the rest, and focus on training this one stem into tree form?
If so, is this just done by staking, and trimming? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You may do exactly that. Set up a good sturdy 5 ft. stake/pole as close to the plant as possible. Select the strongest runner that can be lifted up and tied to the stake. Allow it to grow past the top of the stake. Then you can lop off the vine even with the top of the stake. This will be the 'trunk' of your tree. Measure from the top of the stake down to about 7" and mark the stake here. Any new shoots that grow below the 7" mark, mercilessly rub off while still tender. This prevents ugly scars from forming from waiting too long to do this work. Any shoots that emerge in the 7" zone you may allow to grow on for that summer. In the fall, when it goes dormant, cut the vines back to about 4-5 ft. These will be the branches of your 'tree' and are known as laterals. Any growth that emerges from the laterals are know as sub-laterals. Cut all sub-laterals back to 2-3 nodes. This will produce the most prolific flowering in the spring. During the growing season, visit the wisteria tree about every 2-3 weeks to check on it's growth. Always take your pruners with you. This is the most painless way to manage it's growth. Any growth that is emerging in a direction you don't want it to, just snip it off. Watch for suckers emerging from the base, try to snap them off by hand at the base or root rather than cut them. (Cutting=bad mistake...it will just begin to throw out oodles of shoots from that point if you do that.) I have found it only takes about 10 minutes every month to keep my wisteria tree pruned and in control. It is worth the effort you put into it. Never....never I say, let it get away from you and get to vining into a tree. It will ruin the look and eventually choke the tree it goes into. Never hesitate to prune a vine that is not in it's place or that is detracting from the form you are trying to achieve. I hope this helps...
Thank you Ladybug. I lost the plant I had previously posted about to the ridding mower (hubby). I now have a new one that I set out this February that I purchased from a local home store's garden center. I currently have a large wire cage around it to protect from mowing. It has produced some new growth. I'll follow your instructions and let you know how this little one does. ~ BB in Texas
I just bought a Wisteria and I'm confused what to do. I'd like to force it to be a tree and not climb anything other than the pole it's on. It's to the top of the pole (about 5 feet) and I'd like to make it a little taller then stop it. When you mention laterals, do you mean the leafy part or the out of control vines? Do those vines turn into the leafy part? So when you say to cut them so they go lateral, do you mean just to cut everything once it gets to the height I want then allow it to hang down from there? I'm sorry to sound so stupid, but this has me a little confused.
i have learned alot from this!! thank you ladybug!! :'))
I do apologize for not stopping back in for such a long time.
I have been so busy with sick husband.
Whenever your wisteria 'trunk' gets to the height you want it, simply cut it off at that point. Then new shoots will begin to sprout up and down the trunk. You decide where you want the limbs to begin emerging that will give it a tree-like look. I like a clean trunk at least 4-5 feetfrom the group upward, so anything from that point downward, I clip or rub off the emerging new sprouts. All the sprouts that emerge from that point upward, I allow to grow on to form the 'limbs' of my tree. (These are called laterals)
Any new sprouts that form on the new vines are called sub-laterals. When the vines get to the length you want them, just pinch or lop them off. The rest of the work is simply deciding which vines(branches) you want to stay or remove to form the best tree-like look. I hope this helps.
bluebonnet if you're still interested in a plaited trunk on a wisteria here is how to do it:
You will need three seedlings or rooted cuttings of your variety wanted. Plant them about 5 inches apart in a triangle. At the time of planting also insert a sturdy stake to tie them up to when they begin growing (to the side, not in the center of the triangle). It may be better to allow the wisteria plantings grow for about a month or so to reach about 4-6 feet while lying on the ground. (Remember when something is plaited, it has the effect of shortening it.) Pick the three vines up and braid them very loosely. Braiding them too tightly will mar the look in a couple of years when they begin to self-graft to one another and form a lumpy looking trunk!
All your effort and work will be for nought.
When you have them braided, you may use a suitably sized cable tie (from hardware store) to attach them to the stake.
Again, don't pull the plastic cable tie completely tight, you must allow room for growth. If it is left on there for more than a few months, the vine will grow into it and die. The cable tie is only a temporary way of supporting it until you get the trunk started. Sever the three vines at the height you want for your trunk. Then simply follow the instructions above for creating a wisteria standard. Remember to substitute another way of securing your braided trunk to the stake before it outgrows the cable tie. The cable tie will never stretch or back out once it is pulled into itself to form a circle. You may want to use old rags torn in strips or cut the legs off old panyhose to attach the vines.
I wish you the best. If you have any other questions about the procedure just let me know.
I have access to wild wisteria; I want to develop a plant into a tree; is it best to buy a plant from a nursery or try to transplant one of the wild plants? If I were to try the wild plants: dig up a plant or do cuttings? how big of a rootball if I dig?
Hoping someone can help me....I have two wisterias, a white and a purple Chinese. Both are about 15 years old. They have been rampant, the white one covering a patio arbor that's 20 by 30 feet, attached to the house. During a wildfire last month in our area, on the advice of the fire department my husband cut both vines back right to the trunks. They had earlier told us the vines and wooden arbor attached to the house were a fire hazard (we live in a high-fire area) and now we have removed the arbor and decided not to let the plants grow as vines. It was quite a tough decision for me as they give the most beautiful and prolific bloom show every spring.
So now I have these two potential wisteria "trees". Each one has 4-5 main "trunk" uprights, the thickest about 5 inches in diameter, thinnest about 2 inches. Both plants are cut off at about 7 feet in height now, and there are a few thick side branches going outwards near the tops of each. Both are beginning to send out new shoots, the purple one prolifically all up and down the trunk (showing flower buds, too), the white one less growth but some, from top to bottom.
I started pulling off the new growth on the lower five feet of the purple one today and then wondered if it woud be possible to leave it as a sort of column, with shoots growing out over the whole surface? I've never seen that done but this purple flowering specimen always gets blossom on relatively short shoots all the way to the ground, so it seems it could work. I would love to hear if that sounds crazy to someone more expert!
The white one I will try to train into a cascading sort of tree form, like a fountain. It's only about four feet from the house, so I'll have to keep it tight. Should I try to eliminate a couple of the "trunk" stems, do you think? I have never heard of anyone trying to convert a vining wisteria to a more compact form, especially after it has reached maturity. But the things are so healthy and vigorous I am hoping they will thrive even if not allowed to do what they do best--grow like crazy!
The March 30, 08 post by ladybug2u2 was very helpful in describing how to train a young vine into a tree form, but I would love further input if anyone has any brainstorms.
Thanks very much.
It's April 28 no blooms yet, everything else blooming. Just bought a new house and tree in the front yard. wondering what it is? Thought crepe myrtle now thinking maybe wisteria.
I have a couple of questions about Wisteria Trees, as I wish to buy some trees.
1. Are trees poisonist to cattle and horses?
2. Do you need to support these trees?
3. How long do the trees bloom, and what are the colors they go through?
I have two wisteria trees (white+purple) growing together. They are about 10 Years old. They make a beautiful tree but they have'nt bloomed yet. What can I do to help make them bloom next spring? Does anyone have a suggestion? Thankyou.
Hi, I don't know if I have a Wisteria tree or a bush, and I have only seen a few flowers a couple different years. I have had this plant for about 8-10 yrs. it's about 7ft. tall and very big around. I have trimmed it around so not to take over my spirea bushes. Why does it not flower by now? Soil has very good drainage and plant is always nice and green. I live in the lower eastern part of Michigan.
For anyone trying to train a wisteria in a tree I offer a tip. DO NOT remove all buds along stem up to the point of branching. The branches themselves can be still be brittle enough to break in a strong enough wind leaving you to have to start over from the ground again. It would be quick but it can be a frustrating effort. I have been training mine into a tree for 3 months, got 5' tall and cut back several times to form branches. A few mornings ago a set of strong winds came through with a brief storm and broke the top of it off right where it was was tied to the stake. I was fortunate that I missed 2 buds just south of the new branches. Tieing the plant to the stake will not save new branches in strong enough winds.