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HELP pruning 'Candleabra' Espalier

Posted by Wildwest Zone 3a Edm AB (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 8, 04 at 13:31

Hi everyone,

for several years I have been working on a candelabra espalier which I created from a young Cotoneaster shrub (used for hedging). It has been a slow but fun process.
This spring I decided to cut off the top of each branch to the same level which in hindsight I regret. By doing this, I had to retrain a side shoot to become the new leader which was time consuming. I have never done this before so am trying to learn as I go. Here is a picture:

Is it possible to encourage leaves to grow on the bark where there are no leaves (mostly on the inside frame)? How can I encourage a "bud" to form (by making some type of cut)? Any help would be appreciated. Here is a close-up of the area I would like to encourage leaf growth:

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RE: HELP pruning 'Candleabra' Espalier

You are desribing a slight cut placed directly after a young bud, just deep enough so that the nutrients will go into the immature bud instead of going into the top of hte plant. A sort of diversion of nutrients. But the bud must exist before this can work out. You cannot utilize this technique on a branch where there are no leave or buds. It's quite tricky.

I have to say though, that if you trimmed off hte top of your beautiful candelabra, a side branch can easily be trained as the leader and in not time it will not be discernable that you've nipped off the top. I can see from your photos that you did this correctly. When your plant reaches the height you want, you can again nip off the tips, which will encourage the branches to thicken (and leaf out).

Hope that helps.


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