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Old 20-04-2008, 11:59 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Advice on growing a pair of bay trees

Is there a specific way of growing bay trees to get the 'lollipop' shape and
get it to between 5 - 7 foot. I've just bought a pair of very young plants,
each about a foot tall and would like to know if there's anything I should
be doing to encourage them to grow into the shape I want? I've checked on a
few websites but they only tend to talk about temperatures, feeding and
pruning to keep the height of the tree down.

TIA

Dave


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Old 20-04-2008, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Đave View Post
Is there a specific way of growing bay trees to get the 'lollipop' shape and
get it to between 5 - 7 foot. I've just bought a pair of very young plants,
each about a foot tall and would like to know if there's anything I should
be doing to encourage them to grow into the shape I want? I've checked on a
few websites but they only tend to talk about temperatures, feeding and
pruning to keep the height of the tree down.

TIA

Dave
Most people think of bonsai as a way to miniaturise trees but the techniques can be used in several ways. For example I have a cotoneaster growing on one trunk ten feet tall with weeping branches.It has taken me abou 15 years to get it to this height, but the bay tree should reach the height you want in a few years.
First, you need to encourage a single trunk by removing all the larger lower branches. The top stems (branches) are needed to encourage growth. As the tree grows the lower ones of these can be removed. When the tree has reached the height you want you can cut off the growing tip and encourage the top branches to spread. As they reach the size you want you can pinch out the growing tips of these to create the ball effect.Shears will controll their future shape.
Ideally you need to grow them in as large a large pot as you can to encourage fast growth. You could leave them in the garden for a couple of years. Left in permanantly they will continue to grow very much larger. If they get pot bound remove from the pot, wash away all the soil, and cut away one third of the roots. Repot in fresh soil or potting compound washing it in gently to get into the rooting system.
Feeding through the summer months is very important. Trimming of the roots is the factor restricting growth, not lack of food. You should have something akin to what you want in about 5 years. N.B. Any tree growing in a pot will need repotting every few years. If the tree appears weak - repot.
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Old 20-04-2008, 10:31 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Advice on growing a pair of bay trees

"Bigal" wrote in message
...

Đave;785554 Wrote:
Is there a specific way of growing bay trees to get the 'lollipop' shape
and
get it to between 5 - 7 foot. I've just bought a pair of very young
plants,
each about a foot tall and would like to know if there's anything I
should
be doing to encourage them to grow into the shape I want? I've checked
on a
few websites but they only tend to talk about temperatures, feeding and

pruning to keep the height of the tree down.

TIA

Dave


Most people think of bonsai as a way to miniaturise trees but the
techniques can be used in several ways. For example I have a
cotoneaster growing on one trunk ten feet tall with weeping branches.It
has taken me abou 15 years to get it to this height, but the bay tree
should reach the height you want in a few years.
First, you need to encourage a single trunk by removing all the larger
lower branches. The top stems (branches) are needed to encourage
growth. As the tree grows the lower ones of these can be removed.
When the tree has reached the height you want you can cut off the
growing tip and encourage the top branches to spread. As they reach
the size you want you can pinch out the growing tips of these to create
the ball effect.Shears will controll their future shape.
Ideally you need to grow them in as large a large pot as you can to
encourage fast growth. You could leave them in the garden for a
couple of years. Left in permanantly they will continue to grow very
much larger. If they get pot bound remove from the pot, wash away all
the soil, and cut away one third of the roots. Repot in fresh soil or
potting compound washing it in gently to get into the rooting system.
Feeding through the summer months is very important. Trimming of the
roots is the factor restricting growth, not lack of food. You should
have something akin to what you want in about 5 years. N.B. Any tree
growing in a pot will need repotting every few years. If the tree
appears weak - repot.


Thanks for the detailed reply. At the moment with the tree being only 1 foot
tall it has no branches, just leaves coming off the main stem. Should I be
removing the lower leaves now, wait until the plant has established itself
(only potted it up on Saturday:- Pots are 11.5 Inches Deep, 14 Inches wide
at the top and 9.5 inches wide at the base), or wait longer until the stem
developes into a trunk and there are actual branches comng off it?

TIA

Dave

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Old 21-04-2008, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Đave View Post
"Bigal" wrote in message
...

Đave;785554 Wrote:
Is there a specific way of growing bay trees to get the 'lollipop' shape
and
get it to between 5 - 7 foot. I've just bought a pair of very young
plants,
each about a foot tall and would like to know if there's anything I
should
be doing to encourage them to grow into the shape I want? I've checked
on a
few websites but they only tend to talk about temperatures, feeding and

pruning to keep the height of the tree down.

TIA

Dave


Most people think of bonsai as a way to miniaturise trees but the
techniques can be used in several ways. For example I have a
cotoneaster growing on one trunk ten feet tall with weeping branches.It
has taken me abou 15 years to get it to this height, but the bay tree
should reach the height you want in a few years.
First, you need to encourage a single trunk by removing all the larger
lower branches. The top stems (branches) are needed to encourage
growth. As the tree grows the lower ones of these can be removed.
When the tree has reached the height you want you can cut off the
growing tip and encourage the top branches to spread. As they reach
the size you want you can pinch out the growing tips of these to create
the ball effect.Shears will controll their future shape.
Ideally you need to grow them in as large a large pot as you can to
encourage fast growth. You could leave them in the garden for a
couple of years. Left in permanantly they will continue to grow very
much larger. If they get pot bound remove from the pot, wash away all
the soil, and cut away one third of the roots. Repot in fresh soil or
potting compound washing it in gently to get into the rooting system.
Feeding through the summer months is very important. Trimming of the
roots is the factor restricting growth, not lack of food. You should
have something akin to what you want in about 5 years. N.B. Any tree
growing in a pot will need repotting every few years. If the tree
appears weak - repot.


Thanks for the detailed reply. At the moment with the tree being only 1 foot
tall it has no branches, just leaves coming off the main stem. Should I be
removing the lower leaves now, wait until the plant has established itself
(only potted it up on Saturday:- Pots are 11.5 Inches Deep, 14 Inches wide
at the top and 9.5 inches wide at the base), or wait longer until the stem
developes into a trunk and there are actual branches comng off it?

TIA

Dave
Pots that size are plenty big enough for a couple of years. The plants will need feeding well to encourage growth - something with a reasonably high nitrogen level for preference. Growing them in the garden will encourage them to grow quite quickly, but for no longer than two years or there might be some difficulty digging them out. Very early spring (March) would be the best time to remove them. Again, watch the root size when potting on. With tall plants the one thing to watch out for is the wind which if strong enough could blow them over. Can be controlled by either a heavy pot or a pot with a wide base.
As for the plant itself - leave the leaves on but pick out any side shoots. This will encourage the plant to grow in the direction you want. If you have an accident and lose the top of the plant, leave te first side shoot down to continue in its stead.


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