After the major period of flowering in the cooler months of the year, ‘Chojubai’ Dwarf Flowering Quince will begin to grow. At the end of this period the plant is usually multi-tasking, flowering and growing. What you will see first are whorl growths of several leaves. These do not have an extension. About the time the tree begins slowing down on flowering, the major growth period ramps up and it will create extensions. They start as a pinkish white bud that grows fatter.
What do we do, then, with our Chojubai at this time of year?
- Let those extensions run freely!
- No pinching…
- Then, when they harden off (usually around June), take your bud scissors, the skinny pointy ones, and cut them off, leaving a stub of about 1/2″ (1 cm), which will have as many as three and as few as one leaf on it. That’s on an established tree. A young tree is another story. You may want to leave extensions on for a year to build trunk caliper. Most Chojubai will have a second flush of extensions over the summer, but there won’t be as many.
Why do we let the extensions run?
- They build energy for the tree, and it will flower better, too
- You can develop your branching, and create more ramification
What if we’re not seeing these extensions?
- Be sure the tree is getting enough water and fertilizer. They like both.
- Make sure your tree is in soil that is not compacted, or too fine
- Upsize your container
- Stop complaining! Make those changes, and wait. Chojubai is very responsive to changes in husbandry.
Want more about Chojubai? Take a look at Chojubai Notes: Part 1