#Celtisafricana winter pruning explained.

Yesterday I published a video of a #celtisafricana that I pruned. I thought that I would be good to go into depth as too why I pruned the tree and what this does for the tree.

I do not know all the correct scientific terms and how these processes work. I will be explaining what I did in as much detail as possible .

This was the tree before I pruned the tree. Upon closer inspection I saw that there where a lot of dead branches and dried out twig in between the dense foliage.

There are a few reasons why these small branches died:

  1. Not enough sap in the tree to support the size of the canopy
  2. The smaller branches where shaded out by leaves of other branches
  3. Branches got damaged (strong winds ect.)
  4. The tree might have been replanted recently
  5. Drought
  6. Depleted soil

Pruning the tree during the dormant period addresses most of the points mentioned above. Firstly by pruning the branches back you reduce the amount of energy required by the tree to push out new growth. Secondly you can see the structure of the tree and you can direct the branches to where you want it to be.
At a look at this photo. I looks over crowded and the branches go in all directions. Some of the smaller branches are straight and long and this does not add anything to the character of this tree. Slide5.jpeg After I pruned the tree you can see that the tree has more open space in between the branches and the growth is more directed. I must admit it feels like I have removed a lot of branches but the tree will be back in shape in no time. I know this because there where a few active buds starting to open up. I must say I pruned this tree just at the right time. A week later and the tree would have been full of new buds.
Slide8.jpegThis is a close up, so that you can see how I directed the new growth in the tree. The fun but challenging part of training broom styled bonsai is that you don not just have to fill the foliage pads from left to right but you have to fill all the gaps in the tree. It’s almost like a fan, as branches head out in all directions.
Slide9.jpeg In the photo above I added a couple of red lines to show how I will be building the branches. This is a top view so it just shows the single view from the top and not the sides but it should give you an idea of what I’m trying to achieve.
This is the tree’s current front. At the place where the circle is drawn there are three branches that cross and hide the back branches. It is going to be very difficult to bend these branches so I though of changing the planting angle.
Slide7.jpeg As you see in this alternative front view there is less branches that cross. The two branches that cross is not as bad as the brunches that cross in the current front. This might be a better front as it also makes the to strong roots look slightly softer than in the current front.

This tree has a long way to go but for now it’s a wait and see game.

Hope you enjoyed the blog. Please feel free to leave you comments below.





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