Question about growing trees from seed
There was a recent thread about whips and why they do not have branches, and various knowledgeable folks posted about how important it was to get a baby tree to maintain a single leader for as long as possible and not develop branching.
Does anyone have advice about how best to achieve this when growing individual trees from seed? For example, I have grown Cornus capitata and Chionanthus restusus from seed and had quite a bit of trouble getting their trunks to attain a decent caliper. I did not cut off any side branching (which started almost immediately), nor did I do any staking. I was under the impression that lateral branches encouraged caliper growth, but now I'm thinking that is not true with very young trees. I have both the Cornus and the Chionanthus in the ground now but with the Chionanthus I finally gave up, cut them off at the base and they immediately shot up much stronger shoots, albeit still with lateral branching.
Thoughts? Does anyone have a good rule of thumb on this? Why I started growing trees from seed at this age is beyond me, but the bug bit me one day and I couldn't help myself.
Thx for any advice you may have!