'Live Oak' ...Trunk Chop...Ouch!!!

bronxfigsOctober 5, 2011

I'm seriously considering doing a trunk chop on a Quercus virginiana...."Southern Live Oak"....and eventually train it into a broom-style after new branches sprout out from around the cut trunk.

Questions, questions.....:

I dislike the bristly, holly-like juvenile leaves, and much prefer the small, oval leaves with entire margins that these trees have. When new branches sprout from the trunk chop what type of leaves will sprout from these branchlets? If the holly-like leaves form, how long will they stay on the new branches, and will they fall off as a new crop of leaves sprout in successive years? When will the characteristic "Live Oak" leaves sprout?

Lets assume that the original tree BEFORE the trunk chop had a stem diameter of about 2". Now, I come along and chop off the upper trunk, and grow the roots and original stem until buds break out around the cut. Are these new branchlets as old as the original tree, ....or, are they no different than a sprouting, first-year acorn, foliage-wise?

I have no experiences growing this oak, but I'd like to try this technique next spring, so I have to start ordering material now.

Give me some ideas, opinions, etc. Is this an "easy" oak to bonsai?


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Don't worry about leaf size just yet. The important things to develop are the branches first (thickness, taper etc). After the trunks and everything else are in place then worry about leaf size. Leaf size reduction is acheived by defoliation. Anytime you defoliate your oak, the leaves can come back are a third smaller. But do not defoliate every year, maybe every other year. Eventually they will be as small as you like.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:13PM
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