From time to time I like to test out techniques that are different from what I have been taught previously. Particularly with deciduous species where I am unfamiliar with the fine budding and growth characteristics it’s fun to push a healthy tree to see what it can do, or can’t do. With this cherry I had established it in this oversized box and am getting some long shoots.
I had already cut back the long shoots from last year over the winter. On April 13th, after the new shoots elongated for the spring, I defoliated all the leaves from the interior of the tree. But, at the same time I left the shoots on, with the strong tips still elongating and I wired the base of each shoot out as far as I would likely want to keep it. Then I set the tree back on the bench. I hypothesized that this would allow light in and cause budding in the area. My thinking was that a full cutback and full defoliation would potentially cause some of the branches to die. I believe this technique will prevent that problem.
It’s interesting to note that I snapped three of these branches while bending them, I expected that one or two would die but all three continued growing despite being split.