When to do a trunk cut on a jade and podocarpus?

(Ward Coysman) #1


I have these 2 trees for 4months now and repotted them in the begin of march.

I would like to know when to make a trunk cut to get trunk thickening?

See my pictures below , i don’t have the trees in new pots pictures with me but they are still the same seize.

For the moment i’m doing this : Liquid Fertilizer when needed , spray the leaves with water once a week.

I know that for a podocarpus it will take alot of years to get a nice thick trunk but i’m ready for that …


(Sely) #2

Ahhh, aka elephant jade. If you want it to grow, increase the pot size a bit. Well drain soil works great and do not pinch it back, but you have to let the soil dry out before repotting. It will get a red tinge to the leaves if it gets more sunlight. But most of the work is only done during the spring and summer. They can rot really fast during the fall and winter and must be kept damp to dry.
As for the pod, slip pot it into a gallon pot and leave to grow until you are satisfied with the trunk size, they can back bud like crazy.

(Ward Coysman) #3


I think you missed my question , i already repotted to a bigger pot ( i don’t have the screenshots of that with me ) , but i’m looking how to increase trunk thickness … So i would like to know what month of the year i can do a cut grow technique?

(Sely) #4

My apologies Ward,
I forgot that you live in Belgium. What is the lowest temperature during winter? I use to grow them several years ago and left it to my mother. I trunk chop them during summer months like June, it gives them time to dry their wounds and then flake off. Cut between the internodes the remainder will fall off. Sorry

(Jonas Dupuich) #5

Hi Ward - could say more about why you’re looking to cut these back so severely?

(Ward Coysman) #6

I wanted to know how i could get a wider trunk on my jade … I have years of time but i don’t want to end with a 1inch trunk …

I have been adviced lately to let it grow and don’t cut anything ?

My lowest winter temperature can be -10degrees

I keep them indoors and put outdoor when during day time 12degrees and put them back inside in the evening then its still -1 at the moment :frowning: they will go outside 24/7 when during night also 10+ degrees.

(Jonas Dupuich) #7

Yikes, that sounds cold! Typically the fastest way to increase trunk size is to let the tree grow freely in the ground or in a large container. Cuts along the way are often used to direct growth. The best example of this process is: http://www.bssf.org/articles-and-stories/care-of-japanese-black-pine-stages-of-development/

While the specifics that pertain to pine here aren’t relevant, the bits about developing the trunk are the same. The drawing at the bottom of the page does a good job showing how the process works.

Big cuts reduce a tree’s ability to produce food and ultimately slow down growth. If you’re interested in larger specimens, the options are patience and fertilizer or starting with a larger trunk and developing the branches from there.