My plan at the beginning of last year was to try and reduce the amount of wiring I do on my larches. A strongly fertilized larch in development grows very quickly. This means that wire applied in the winter has to be removed quite early in the summer if you want to avoid it cutting into the branches. In most cases this early wiring at the start of the season is ineffective at holding the branches in place and has to be re-applied as soon as it is removed. This second wiring in summer is very tedious and difficult to apply, especially on the finer branches because of the presence of the foliage I have also observed that wire applied to trees in the second half of the season and removed in the new year holds the branches in position much better. The reason I continue to wire larches at the start of the year is that it is much easier to do when there are no needles on the tree.
Last year I decided to reduce the amount of fertiliser each tree was given in an attempt to keep the wire on for the full growing season thus reducing the amount of wiring I needed to do and hopefully get the best result I could from the process. This is the result.
Tree 1 before the removal of the wire
Tree 1 after the removal of the wire. I am pleased with this result growth has been minimal but this tree has good ramification anyway. Some more work will be needed to lower the branch on the bottom left.
Tree 2 before wire removal. Last year was the first time wire had been applied to this tree. The top of this tree has grown vigorously in the past year and will need thinning.
Tree 2 after wire removal. Another satisfactory result
Tree 3. This one grew with such vigour that I had no choice but to remove all the wire in late summer. I immediately rewired all the main branches but left the finer ones unwired. you can see that by the end of the season most of the fine branches had become unruly again. This is before removal of the second wire
Tree 3 after second wire removal. At least the primary branches are now in place
In following this plan, I have reduced the amount of time spent wiring my trees. I, like many others, find long hours of wiring quite tedious, so a significant reduction in the effort required is very welcome.
In the next week I will be selecting the new growth I want to keep and rewiring all of these trees again, so the next few posts will be focused on that. I am also sure that the amount of wire I need this year will be a lot less than I used last year.