Sometimes keeping a tree at its current height is a must. For instance, a power line could be above, a garden might need more sun than a bigger tree would allow, or limbs from a tall tree might restrict the growth of another tree.
Pruning the limbs in the dormant time keeps a tree smaller. Though, trimming in the middle of summer takes away the food-making part of the branches, stunting its growth.
There are ways to stop a tree from growing taller, and the steps below will help you. If you don’t feel comfortable performing these steps, contact a Harrisburg arborist for assistance.
Trim the top of the tree back to within 2 inches where many other limbs are growing from the trunk. If the leader is little in diameter, cut it off with pruning shears. For bigger diameters, a handsaw works best.
Prune back all the other branches in the same section so that the top stay like the rest of the tree. While trimming off the top keeps the tree from growing taller, topping is usually frowned upon for many reasons like it creates unequal growth and an unattractive tree. It also may result in new limbs that are weak, break off and fall.
Though, if you want to turn your tree into a shrub, tree topping while it’s small, trimming other limbs back, and letting multiple branches grow from the cut ends gives it a shrub-like look.
Trim side limbs back only a third of their length. Prune just in front of a side shoot at an angle of 45-degrees. This inspires growth along the side shoot in the normal path and deters water sprouts. Repeat trimming every year. The time for pruning depends on the sort of tree.
If you haven't done so after the last trimming job, disinfect your pruning tools before using on the tree. The last thing you want to do is spread any illnesses or insects that have attached themselves to your equipment. Typical tool disinfectants are disinfectants, rubbing alcohol, and a mixture of one part water to nine parts bleach.
Picking the Correct Container
Most folks decide to plant a fruit tree in a container for easy mobility. For this reason, the ideal container size is between 10 – 20 gallons, big enough to support a tree and small enough to easily move.
This size is ideal if you’re growing on a patio or balcony, as well as in a window. You can bring the tree inside for safekeeping when the temperature gets too cold. Also, it is handy if you need to move your tree to the basement, shed, or garage in the wintertime.
And containers are ideal for growing warm-weather types such as banana plants, fig trees, and citrus trees, area in which the climates are more cooling than where the trees would develop normally.
How to Get Started
Begin small. Use no bigger than a 7-gallon container. As the tree grows in its pot, it will get root-bound. Before this occurs, you can re-pot it into a bigger container. You can tell if your tree has developed roots in its pot by the amount of growth of the tree.
Regardless of what size you select, your tree won’t grow for very long if it doesn’t have proper drainage. Make sure the pot you use has holes so that any extra water can drain and air can get to the soil.
Planting in Containers
Picking the correct soil is crucial. Potting soil is the top choice since it is designed for pot plants. Finding at your local tree care store is easy. You shouldn’t use topsoil since it is predisposed to get compacted.
When you want to fill your container, you must first put a layer of rock or gravel on the bottom of your container to aid with drainage. Next, add some of your soil mix for the roots to sit on and put your tree in the middle of the pot so that it is vertical and straight. Then, add the rest of your soil until the tree is accurately sitting in the container. Give it a comprehensive watering, and your tree is all set.
If you're wondering which trees would work best in containers, or are concerned about the health of trees you already have, contact a Harrisburg arborist for advice.