Today I visited a nursery in Betty’s Bay at the Harold Porter National Botanical gardens. They had a sale on some of their plants and trees from friday till tomorrow. It’s quite a drive from where I live. Took me one hour forthy five minutes to drive there.
I told myself that I was not going to buy any unnecessary plants and that if I find nothing I would just walk away. At first glance I could not see anything that drew my attention. After walking through the sales area the second time I spotted two Celtis Africana trees at the back of a few other trees. I went on my knees so say a prayer. Just kidding I bend over to have a closer look at the trees.
I loaded the two trees on a small trolley a Made my way to the exit to pay for the trees. As I was about to pay I saw small scrubs that looked very attractive I just had to take a few and just like that I ended up with 7 trees.
I spend the day In Kleinmond as I have Relatives that live there. We spend a few hour chatting and catching up and then it was time to head home. I offloaded the trees and slept for an hour. I got up feeling energized. I went straight to my garage and started working on one of the teo Celtis Africana trees.
Here is an photo of the tree before I started to work on it.
First I opened up the bag it was planted in to see how deep it was planted in the pot and where the roots started to flare out from the base.
As you can see the tree roots started to flare out about 4 cm from the original soil mixture level. After removing all that soil the tree looked taller.
I put the tree on a turn table and turned it around a few times. I then place toothpicks at the place where the trunk line was the best with the widest base. There were two places that could work.
I chose the one that had the trunk leaning away from you and the top part of the tree then came back towards the viewer.
I decided to not make any major bends to the tree and to leave the trunk as it was. I wired only the side branches and the apex. I thought it would be good to try an broom style for this tree. It has a long trunk but it makes a slight bend so it would not work as it would not be classified as an broom style. I consider an umbrella style but once again it did not fall into the required classification. So I decided to style the tree as an natural African tree. Now you might not know about the style or you might not agree with me but that what I did anyway. After an hour I did the final forming of the tree and I was happy with the outcome. Here it the tree after it first ever styling.
Now what you need to keep in mind with these type of trees is that styling takes longer because they are deciduous trees it might take a few years to get the results you want. With regular trimming and pruning you can get foliage to bud out closer to the tree and create beautiful ramification. Deciduous trees are a bit of a challenge and a longer term project. When they finally get in shape you will be awarded for all the time you spent working on them. Here is an close up of the branches and their placement.
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