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  • "Notching" tall and slender tree?

    Has anyone hear of tis "notching"? I have a 3 ft very slender (pencil width) tree with nice big leafs at the top but nothing in between. Is there a way to start branch outs lower on trunk to thicken trunk?

    Grazie
    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

  • #2
    Taverna-

    There are discussions and postings regarding "notching" to induce branching.... on the Figs4Fun Forum. Sorry I can't provide a direct link but you can do a quick search.

    You could also remove all terminal buds, especially the topmost bud(s), to induce lower and side branching. Each branch will thicken the portion of the trunk/stem that's below it, so the more low branches, the thicker the stem will get. All "sacrificial branches" to grow all over the stem, so trunk thickens more rapidly, and then prune them off when stem is as thick as you want. The more branches a tree grow, the thicker the trunk will have to grow to support all the resulting leaves, etc. Grow and chop, grow and chop. The process will take a few years, but the result is a tree with a thick trunk.

    Pinching, pruning, and notching techniques, will get you where you want when it comes to training your fig tree. It won't happen overnight, and should be thought of as a work-in-progress.

    Hope you find the information that you need.


    Frank
    Last edited by BronxFigs; 04-14-2015, 07:15 PM.

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    • #3
      Notching is a technique that is used to divert bud inhibiting hormones from reaching dormant buds. Its used most often in apple trees. Its not really necessary for fig trees, but can easily be done with a hacksaw blade, the Bark and Cambium layer is gently "sawed" the notch is created by the saw kerf. The "above bud notch" is the method that can be used with fig trees. The attached diagram is for apple trees.
      Click image for larger version

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      Simply pruning off the top will remove the hormones that are produced in the growing tip and allow the dormant buds at the nodes below to start growing. The top could also be air layered, but will still produce bud inhibiting hormones (unless its girdled) until its separated. The desired tree height will determine the height of the pruning cut, http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...form#post11735 . Good Luck
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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      • #4
        I like tis idea of air layer. So girdle all around the tree and apply root hoelremone then smag miss and wrap in plastic air tight? How far down from top of tree and will it make fig tis year?
        Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
        1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
        2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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        • #5
          If the main stem caliper is only "pencil" thin IMO, you should just tie it to a 4' or 5' stake and let it grow as a single stem tree until the caliper is at least 3/4" before pruning or air layering the top. When the main stem caliper is 3/4" - 1" the resulting branches will develop quickly and produce figs if pruned at the start of the season.
          Click image for larger version

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          There are many detailed air layering techniques, procedures and mediums on the web (Google search), here's one I've used, http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...2398#post12398
          Last edited by AscPete; 04-15-2015, 09:23 AM.
          Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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          • #6
            Pete. Thanks you for your help. I think I will wait one more season and gently tie to bamboo. For tis season.
            Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
            1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
            2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the quality info again AscPete.

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              • #8
                Off with it's head just a few inches higher than where you want branches!
                Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a

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                • #9
                  Ahaha! Dark man you sound like dictator of fig "Off With Its Head"! Thanks god I didn't have a lion to feed the head too! I think I will wait one more season to behead tis tree. Only because is young and I would love to see a fig on it first
                  Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                  1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                  2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                  • #10
                    Forgive me but I go back to February post from AscPete about training and pruning fig tree. Very nice information but I not understand what
                    "Rubbing it out" means... Can someone define please?
                    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                    • #11
                      A- "Rubbing out"....the act/process of using the tip of your thumb to gently push/"rub" off a developing bud, or buds, BEFORE they start growing into small branches, fruit, etc. Think of "rubbing out" as pruning.... while very young branches are still in the undeveloped, bud stage.

                      B- Here in Da-Bronx,NYC, "rubbing out" has a very different meaning. : )))))


                      It's easy, it's quick, and, it's effective.


                      Frank

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                      • #12
                        What is the point of doing tis? To start lower branch on node below rub off?
                        Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                        1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                        2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                        • AscPete
                          AscPete commented
                          Editing a comment
                          It removes unwanted branches or figs while they are still buds, before they develop. Branches that are in the wrong location and figs that develop late in the season and would not ripen before frost.
                          http://www.ourfigs.com/filedata/fetc...4&d=1424378900 shows a simplified pruning diagram.

                      • #13
                        I used this earlier this season as one of my bush shaped trees, an LSU Purple, was pushing lots of new growth buds from most nodes and tips. Where the bud is pointing towards the center of the tree or is too close to another more desirable bud I rubbed it away. The tree then puts its energy into the buds that are left and they will grow more. You do not want too many buds growing too close together or your tree will become a rats nest, nor do you want the buds that are growing towards the center of the tree. This will make pruning and fruit harvesting difficult and will disrupt the air flow to the tree, additionally fruits on branches in the center of the tree will not ripen well due to lack of sunlight and heat. I had tons of buds break this year because I followed Vasile's advice and pinched budtips in september. The trees are putting out lots of new buds sometimes 3 or 4 in one location as this practice is known to cause branching. I do not want all those branches, so I select those on the outside for new leaders or branches depending on the tree and their location. I have read that with a bush form tree if you pinch the bud tips every fifth leaf you will develop a full tree very quickly, I intend to give this a try this season. I have seen some people rip unwanted shoots out of fruit trees of all types, which is preventing new growth from the same node, rather than pruning it which will encourage further growth. I think that it is better to rub out buds and conserve energy on young trees than to rip off green shoots later in season. I have not tried notching, but if that does not produce the desired effect you can always stump the tree and start over, with a mature root ball it should be trainable in just a few seasons.
                        Tired of replacing tree tags? So was I and my orchard clients. Check out our custom embossed stainless steel tags on figbid.com!

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                        • #14
                          That's some great information! Thank you !
                          Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                          1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                          2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                          • #15
                            Another option for inducing lower branching is to bend the plant and tie it so that it stays low to the ground. You could also lay the plant on its side. This one I have tried and it worked for me. The way it was explained is that you're removing the apical dominance. Within a couple/few weeks you should see branches coming out of nodes along the trunk.
                            Cheryl (f/k/a VeryNew2Figs) Zone 5a/6a
                            What I'm growing: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

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                            • #16
                              this is a very good post

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                              • #17
                                Branching 1, 2, 3...
                                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 3 photos.

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                                • Taverna78
                                  Taverna78 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Very nice!! Great idea!

                              • #18
                                I have not tried laying them sideways yet, but I don't see why that would not also work for a central leader style tree. If you have a multistem style tree though it will be a bit more difficult though I would imagine. I have a big tree that I might try notching this season. It is a huge whip and I want a bush. It's on its third leaf but first year with me, if I can't make it branch low this year I will do the drastic thing. Chop it at 6" and clean up the aftermath but I would rather not lose a year of potential fruitification.
                                Tired of replacing tree tags? So was I and my orchard clients. Check out our custom embossed stainless steel tags on figbid.com!

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                                • Taverna78
                                  Taverna78 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  You can air layer it also. That way it'll still fruit the season and remove air layer in fall. I airlayered the same single trunk whip tree 3 time last year.

                              • #19
                                Prune it early in the year while dormant and it should produce this year.

                                Alternatively, pic 3 is a 2 meter tall whip that I tied in an inverted J to the left to get it to make half the branches (the longer ones) about 6 months ago. After branches formed I straightened it back up, and just recently laid it to the right to get the remaining nodes to branch.
                                Last edited by ThaiFigs; 02-15-2017, 09:54 PM.

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                                • #20
                                  I will post about it later with pics. I'm tempted to air layer too half and train the tiny branch starts below. Even if the branch higher than I would like they are in a good spacing. Theyare less than 1" long last season and trunk is 1"+. Off to work, pics tonight



                                  Picture 3 shows the tree as it is. All the short stubs seem to have grown last season. It is going into its 3rd leaf this year. The feathered top part will likely be air layered. I noticed this morning and while thinking during the day that 3 of the bottom 4 stubs are facing in different directions and equally spaced 6-7" apart. If the top is air layered maybe these can be trained into a classic tree shape. Picture 2 shows where I would cut the air layer, approximately. If you look closely in picture 1 there are 5 buds that broke last season (counting from bottom up). The top two and bottom one are three mentioned above, the others I think should be snipped off.

                                  So this may not be a good candidate for notching after a more thorough examination. However, with all techniques the most important part is knowing when they are not necessary.

                                  If anyone disagrees with my "plan" please let me know in detail, you probably thought of something I did not or maybe prefer a different form. Comments and suggestions are always welcome. In case anyone was curious the tree is a Beall I picked up last fall from a good source.
                                  Attached Files
                                  Last edited by Evelynisgro; 02-16-2017, 11:34 PM. Reason: Adding pictures and clarifying.
                                  Tired of replacing tree tags? So was I and my orchard clients. Check out our custom embossed stainless steel tags on figbid.com!

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                                  • Evelynisgro
                                    Evelynisgro commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Would I be better off air layering feather top or cutting it off while tree is still dormant and letting all energy push into buds that I have selected?

                                  • Evelynisgro
                                    Evelynisgro commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    It would be a shame if the spring growth flush went to the crown (top) instead of the buds I like.

                                • #21
                                  Originally posted by DevIsgro View Post
                                  I will post about it later with pics. I'm tempted to air layer too half and train the tiny branch starts below. Even if the branch higher than I would like they are in a good spacing. Theyare less than 1" long last season and trunk is 1"+. Off to work, pics tonight



                                  Picture 3 shows the tree as it is. All the short stubs seem to have grown last season. It is going into its 3rd leaf this year. The feathered top part will likely be air layered. I noticed this morning and while thinking during the day that 3 of the bottom 4 stubs are facing in different directions and equally spaced 6-7" apart. If the top is air layered maybe these can be trained into a classic tree shape. Picture 2 shows where I would cut the air layer, approximately. If you look closely in picture 1 there are 5 buds that broke last season (counting from bottom up). The top two and bottom one are three mentioned above, the others I think should be snipped off.

                                  So this may not be a good candidate for notching after a more thorough examination. However, with all techniques the most important part is knowing when they are not necessary.

                                  If anyone disagrees with my "plan" please let me know in detail, you probably thought of something I did not or maybe prefer a different form. Comments and suggestions are always welcome. In case anyone was curious the tree is a Beall I picked up last fall from a good source.
                                  I would defiantly stake it and airlayer it. It's only ganna keep growing slender and tall. I had the same thing and airlayered it 2 times in one season. You may or may not get fruit but what's more important right now? Getting a fig or two or knowing your tree will grown bigger and stronger trunk in seasons to come.

                                  Attached Files
                                  Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                                  1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                                  2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                                  • Evelynisgro
                                    Evelynisgro commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    It actually does not need a stake this one. The tree is straight and solid and thicker than my thumb. The only reason I would trim rather than air layer is to get the growth where I want it faster. It is in a 7 gallon pot, so quite strong.

                                • #22
                                  Oh okay. Photo is hard to tell diameter.
                                  Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                                  1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                                  2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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                                  • Evelynisgro
                                    Evelynisgro commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Sorry about that! It is difficult to get good perspective on something so tall! All the best light slave is all taken up too of course.

                                • #23
                                  All you need to do is tie the top so it forms an inverted J. Then those 1" buds will grow as soon as you give them fertilizer. If the branch is too thick, bend it in stages. Gradually pull it lower every few days.

                                  Of course if you really do want an air layer, then wait till it has leafed out. Leaves will feed the new root growth.
                                  Last edited by ThaiFigs; 02-17-2017, 08:06 PM.

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