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Old 06-11-2015, 01:03 PM
 
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How much you can prune a tree, for size control.
I bought an Arbutus Marina in 15gal container. Some websites state that it gets 25 tall/wide, while other websites state it will get 40ft. If I am on the 40ft end, can it be pruned into a 25ft size? It might take 50 years for that, so the neighbors and we can adjust to it. But I want to know my options.
In general about pruning, how much can any tree be pruned? 50%? 10%?
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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Generally 25% - 30% read this site for additional info.
Pruning Trees: A Guide to Properly Prune a Tree
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:55 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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It depends on the tree. While I have not tried it on the Arbutus Marina I have many trees that I have chopped to stumps and had them grow back out nicely for my bonsai hobby. Japanese Maples, Liquidambar, and Chinese Elm for example.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:40 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
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General rule of thumb, you can remove 30%.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:54 PM
 
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Love the Strawberry tree. Since you bought the marina in a 15gal just shape it a little at a time as it grows. Then once it get to the height you want it won't take more than a little pruning yearly. Good fairly drought tolerant as well.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
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From my experience, pruning out the interior branches to make the tree more open (to let light in) or pruning some side branches to control the width can be done, but pruning the top is hard to do without making the tree look butt ugly as if it's hacked off unnaturally.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:14 PM
 
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A littlebit related:
Most trees in nurseries look so artificial. For example 10ft trunk, then on the top of that there is a 2x2ft canopy. I would expect the canopy of any tree to be half as wide/tall as the height of the whole tree. Are they pruning it to have a small canopy? Why? If it is trained or pruned like this, then can I but trees somewhere with more balanced canopy size?
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:22 PM
 
Location: South-Western USA , desert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
A littlebit related:
Most trees in nurseries look so artificial. For example 10ft trunk, then on the top of that there is a 2x2ft canopy. . . . Are they pruning it to have a small canopy? Why?
If they are not growing them on-site, it may be to save space during shipment (and cost).

Plus, the larger the plant above ground, the larger the pot needs to be. So they try to condense things.

Once the buyer gets them in the ground, they can let them grow in whatever direction they want.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:35 PM
 
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Some trees in the same nursery in the same 24" box are available with normal canopy. For example Crape Myrtle 24in box 11ft tall with a 5ft round dense canopy. Arbutus marina in 24" only had a 3ft canopy, my 15gal arbutus had a 2ft canopy. I wonder is it that the type of tree I wanted (Arbutus) cannot be grown in a shape like that when young? Or is it for a different use and therefore different pruning is applied?
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