Tree or bush? Who decides

toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)May 29, 2009

Another post got me thinking:

Things I plant in the open, japanese maples, red maples, crab apples, black gum (Nyssa Sylvatica), they all end up branching so low they'll grow like a multi-trunked bush if you don't prune them. I firmly believe my Nyssa and my red maple would have grown into the shape of a 40ft tall bush if left to their own in the open in my yard.

Now throw in some competition and the Nyssa and red maple try to get straight and tall to out grow their competition. Something like a barberry bush seems preprogrammed to grow in a mound no matter how many others touch it.

Is this pre-programming the difference? I've seen plenty of lace leaf japanese maples pruned to more resemble bushes or trees and they've looked fine both ways. Anyone got extreme example pics? Maybe a Metasequoia pruned like a bush?

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pineresin

I've seen a Metasequoia growing as a shrub without pruning (due to being on a very poor exposed north-facing bank top site, so cold and dry), but haven't got any pics unfortunately. It's an original 1948 specimen, but only about 3m tall.

Resin

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 2:41AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

as to the title of the post ....

personally ... ITS THE MAN WITH THE SAW ...

YOUR QUERY IS DEPENDENT ON DEFINING ... oops ... your TERMS ...

a tree... given decades... will grow a single trunk [in most cases] upwards .. shading out its lower/interior portions .... which will naturally be shed as they lose sunlight .... a good pruning saw can move this process along ..

BUSH really means nothing ....

i suspect you mean shrub .... which, as the decades pass ... a shrub will not develop a trunk.. and turn into a tree ... it will continue to grow.. and as the limbs get too long.. they will tend to flop down.. and new new center branches will fill into the middle ...

how you define a plant is how you can come to certain conclusions... and within that definition are certain clues as to how to deal with said plant.. e.g. how you prune a shrub [removal of 1/3 of the branches as close to the ground as possible, per year] ... as compared to how you prune a tree .... or a conifer

there is a tree forum ...

there is a shrub forum ...

there is a conifer forum ....

and they are based on grouping certain plants together for certain reasons ...

but there is no BUSH forum ...

anyway ... HAVE A GREAT DAY .....

ken

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 8:50AM
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cascadians

Have a white spot dawn redwood that still hasn't developed a clear leader and is a bush. Very pretty.

lower right:

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 2:31PM
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katrina1(OK)

Some bushes can be pruned to look like a short tree and some trees can be allowed to grow enough sprouts to make them look more like a bush or shrub than a tree.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 11:40PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

lol, very correct, there is a shrub form but no bush forum.

Its all semantics and personally I've seen some redbuds grow all multi-trunk shrub like and look very good.

I like that white spot.

And Resin, something intrigues me very much about normally fast growing trees that survive with so little growth.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 3:22AM
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