Summer Chojubai Trim
Summer is a good time to look at dwarf flowering quince ‘Chojubai’ and determine what, if anything, needs trimming.
Younger Chojubai, about 12 years from a cutting, in early July (Northern Hemisphere). Shoot growth has just stopped and hardened off. This is a clump with several trunks. Notice longer shoot growth on the bottom areas.
Same Chojubai after trim. Shoots were retained at the top of the plant. Like other shrubs, Chojubai is strongly basally dominant. This means the taller / older parts can easily lose vigor. Leaving the shoots on in those areas until fall help maintain dominance and tree-like characteristics of the older / thicker / and generally weaker areas on Chojubai.
Here’s an older Chojubai, maybe 40 years old, with many shoots in early summer. Notice that the younger plant has longer shoots and this older one, given the many growth points, shorter.
After trimming. In contrast to the younger plant, all the shoots here were trimmed. This tree is balanced. All shoots were the same length everywhere, suggesting evenness in energy. The clump had an uneven energy pattern. Using the scissors with discrimination can improve balance on Chojubai and other plants over time (much like selective defoliation can strengthen some areas and weaken others). Some regrowth will happen and those shoots will be trimmed in the fall.
Here is a short history of a Chojubai that used the techniques described above. This photo is from 2011 when the plant was about 5 years old.
With minimal wiring of main trunks for several initial years, and mostly designed with a 2x annual trimming, this is the same plant in 2023, now 29” across. Like the first example, the top shoots of this plant were left alone to retain vigor, to be trimmed in the fall.