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Show #30/5704. Where Do Trees Come From

Ensuring The Tree Grows Straight

The idea is that if they have a big root system that's already developed when you lop the top off there's now an imbalance between the root system and the top. So what's the plant going to do? It's going to grow maybe one, two or three buds. They pick the strongest one knowing that with this big root system already built, what you're going to get is a plant that will grow like a rocket. They put all their energy into one bud and off it goes. Rocket is a good description. So how do you keep it straight because the branch is going to naturally want to form more at an angle but these are are pretty much completely parallel? In the trade, it's called a dog leg. When that bud emerges it wants to go out sideways and then up. To prevent that, the Schmidts, cleverly, about 40 years ago, invented the grow straight. The grow straight is just a little piece of metal. They set it on a stubbed off bud, put it in the ground next to that bud, the bud comes up, it follows the channel right up. When it gets up about a foot they take out the grow straight then put in a stake. Nancy shows a slender metal stake on a tree. They then start taping. Tape, tape, tape, what they're trying to do is keep a very straight trunk. So every couple of weeks the workers come through with their tape guns, clip the old tape and add new tape. The objective is to make sure the tree trunk doesn't bend because if you let that bend get in there, it stays. If a week or two weeks behind on your taping that bend is going to stay with that tree for the rest of its' life. By disciplining the tree in its' youth it will be a nice straight stick. So that's what they're trying to do. The first year get a nice straight whip. The red point maple branches really well so they have quite nice branching on them even in this first year.


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