Return to the Trees Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Single trunk or multi?

Posted by maries1120 none (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 22, 13 at 21:56

Is it just personal preference or what tree is available or are there times a multi-stem tree is a better choice? I want to add a bed anchored by a tree on each end.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

Not all trees are avaiable in a multi trunk. There are time I prefer a multi trunk. But it is not always avaibale. How much room do you have, what are the conditions?

Here is a link that might be useful: My blog


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

Some understory trees like acer gresium, trying to spell paperbark maple, I almost prefer multi trunk if they have interesting bark.

For a large shade tree or taxodium, bald cypress, you better have a reason if you purposely go multi trunk.

Any particular species or cultivar you're thinking about?


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

depending what you want to do with the rest of the bed... would be the determinative factor in what trees you consider ..

e.g. ... if you want to garden.. in the long run.. you better avoid most maples.. and birch .... IMHO ...

both have very shallow surface roots.. and inside a few years.. a decade.. you wont be able to put a shovel in the ground.. let alone grow plants that will compete with a large tree.. or two

after that.. then i would consider how many trunks i might want ..... though there are classic multi-trunked treees .... i have see every type grown as such.. usually a function of having been mowed or deer chomped when young ....

ken


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

The area will probably be about 20-24 feet long and it would get quite a bit of sun. I am thinking 2 smaller trees or 1 small tree and 1 large shrub. The rest of the bed would be some smaller shrubs and perennials. We do have deer that pass through the yard frequently although they don't seem to linger and I think more of our plants have been damaged by rabbits.

Species I am looking at are Ironwood, lilac trees (either Japanes or pekenisis), Seven Son Flower or other large tree like shrub. The Ironwood and some of the lilac trees are available either way. Seven Son and larger shrubs would be multi-trunk. I've seen some grafted on a single trunk but I didn't care for that look - at least at the stage they are at when I've seen them.

Thanks.


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

If the tree is naturally a multi-trunk or large shrub form, it often looks odd when standardized. An example would be Lagerstroemia (crape myrtle), which naturally produces multiple trunks but is often grown as a standard. The trunk never attains the caliper of a naturally occurring standard. Thus, you end up with a huge crown on a spindly trunk. To my eye it looks awkward and it is unstable. So I would determine the natural form of the tree you select and go that way. Or, if from a design perspective you prefer one or the other form, use that to help you choose the species.


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

If you want to know whether a plant is naturally multi-trunked, look in a good reference, like Hortus or Sunset or similar.


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

What reference is Sunset? I have a big thick Michael Dirr book but not at home to see if that has the info.


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

Dirr doesn't always mention whether they are multi-trunked in the wild or cultivation. Sunset Western...or ...National Garden Book is a standard reference, esp in the US & Canadian west.


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

Thanks for the info on the references. I can never have enough garden books.

Any other opinions on when one style is better or looks better than the other? Thanks.


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

As a rule, standards are more formal, multi-trunks more free-form/casual, so that may help you decide. Much is personal preference, though, so if you like one better than the other, go with your own taste - it's your garden!

Sara


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

What Sara said. Personally I don't like the tortured look of standarding, say, crape myrtle.


 o
RE: Single trunk or multi?

we could better understand this spot.. if you posted a pic for us to see it ..

ken


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Trees Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here