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Author Topic: Potted lychee pruning  (Read 3265 times)

Pancrazio

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Potted lychee pruning
« on: February 26, 2012, 04:31:55 PM »
I have a young sweetheart lychee that seems willing to start growing after the winter.
The question is: how i should prune it? Obviously the objective is keeping the plant small, since it should stay in pot for his entire life.
I have seen a lot of video a heard quite a bit about mango pruning but now that i came to this little plant i realized that i haven't a clue about what to do.
Any suggestion? I know that we have here some avid lychee growers that for one reason or another are forced to keep their plant in pots... i'm seeking advice.
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lycheeluva

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 05:42:52 PM »
do you have any  pics?
how big is the plant- how big is the container- i would not have thought there is any need to prune for several years. lychees are pretty slow growing in containers

fruitlovers

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 10:34:19 PM »
Is it an air layer (marcott)? If so they tend to put most of their energy first couple of years into growing their root system, and there we be little or no above soil growth.
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Pancrazio

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 07:24:58 AM »
@lycheeluva: No, i don't have any pic. Not now, at least: it is still in greenhouse. The plant is very little (i'd say 3 foot tall) and the pot is little too (7 gallon? i really don't understand how translate litres with gallons, every converter seems to say different from each other; anyway the pot is 35 litres).
Ok so, i'll try to look what it does this year.

@frutilovers: Yes, it is a marcott. I dunno how old it is, i bought it in september, i simply was worried because the twigs have a V shape and i thought it needed some formation pruning.
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fruitlovers

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 01:44:00 AM »
@lycheeluva: No, i don't have any pic. Not now, at least: it is still in greenhouse. The plant is very little (i'd say 3 foot tall) and the pot is little too (7 gallon? i really don't understand how translate litres with gallons, every converter seems to say different from each other; anyway the pot is 35 litres).
Ok so, i'll try to look what it does this year.

@frutilovers: Yes, it is a marcott. I dunno how old it is, i bought it in september, i simply was worried because the twigs have a V shape and i thought it needed some formation pruning.

At this stage no pruning is necessary. Wait for really active growth spurt before you start pruning. A liter is roughly same amount as a quart. There are 4 quarts in a gallon. So roughly also 4 liters in a gallon. So a 35 litre pot would be around 9 gallon size (9.24 to be exact).
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simon_grow

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 02:01:59 AM »
Hey Pancrazio, if you have a picture, it would help a lot.  It shouldn't need too much pruning unless it is currently shaped very poorly.  The Lychee is supposed to naturally grow dome shaped and I would only focus on shaping the trunk and main branches.  You should check out Lycheesonline.com for some good info.  They recommend letting your tree have 2-3 feet of vertical growth before a bifurcation or trifurcation.  When my Sweetheart Lychee was small, I used weights tied onto the branches to widen the angles of the main branches coming off the trunk. 
Simon

Pancrazio

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 04:00:08 PM »
Thank you everybody. I'll try to upload a picture as soon as i can take one. Anyway i'm happy to learn that as for now there is no need to prune.

@simon_grow: i have checked lycheesonline, but i haven't been able to find what you suggest. :( Nevermind, anyway, my plant hasn't more of 3 feet in TOTAL. :)
I suppose that the point of not allowing it to have a bifurcation on shorter branches is to avoid wind damage. This isn't my case luckily: my city isn't windy at all and the plant are indoor in the months with the strongest winds.
I like your suggestion of putting weights on twigs to force them to grow where you whant. I think i'll do it. Maybe it's time to reuse my old copper wire used for bonsai? :)
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phantomcrab

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 04:13:10 PM »
Pancrazio:
Here's a link that correlates pot dimensions with "gallons".
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/roses/msg071743594109.html
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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 09:10:45 PM »
I became curious about the actual volumes of nursery containers. It's a complicated mess but a gallon is not a volumetric gallon. Here is what I found (with some history) on the other forum:

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg071634112151.html
Richard

fruitlovers

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 10:34:04 PM »
I have noticed that in the so called one gallon size blow mold pots i buy they keep getting shorter and shorter in height. I guess they try to keep the prices per unit down buy making them smaller. Kind of hard to test if they really hold a gallon due to the holes on the bottom of the pots.  ;)
My big paradox is not size, but color... why are the poly pots always black? It seems that in the tropics black is the worst color, heats up too fast. Is that the cheapest color to produce?
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FlyingFoxFruits

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2012, 12:25:16 AM »
Only prune the tree as needed to keep in bounds, and to keep shapely, and small enough to keep portable and warm.

Root pruning will be necessary if you keep the plant in the same pot for an extended period (2yrs or more approx)

I have a large lychee in a 25 gal, and its only been in the pot for about 1yr, and it will be root bound by the end of this year for sure...

I will have to root prune and repot in a larger pot, or repot in the same pot.

I always prune leaves and branches somewhat, if I prune roots (it helps the tree heal faster)

Another trick I'll share with you dudes, is the practice of setting a plant in a pot at a low depth (not high up in the pot like Zill sells trees, no offense to Zill...he is short term container grower and has high turnover rate for plants)  But if you plant a specimen a bit low in the pot, you can step the plant up in the same pot, over 4 or 5 times!

It saves money, and plastic, and water seems to fill the pot, sitting on the roots and the plant doesn't have fertilizer or soil being splashed out over the rim when heavily watered

« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 12:28:11 AM by ASaffron »

fruitlovers

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2012, 12:39:30 AM »
Adam, let me see if i understand your tip correctly? You set the plant down low in the pot. Then when plant is getting rootbound and after root pruning you add some soil at the bottom of same container and reuse the same container a bit highere? Seems like you would have to set the plant down very low to be able to reuse the pot this way 4-5 times, unless you are talking about really huge pots?
Oscar
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FlyingFoxFruits

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Re: Potted lychee pruning
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2012, 12:56:48 AM »
Adam, let me see if i understand your tip correctly? You set the plant down low in the pot. Then when plant is getting rootbound and after root pruning you add some soil at the bottom of same container and reuse the same container a bit highere? Seems like you would have to set the plant down very low to be able to reuse the pot this way 4-5 times, unless you are talking about really huge pots?
Oscar

U got it Oscar exactly.

The pots are usually large when doing this, around 10 gal - 25 gal and up.

But you can practice this with smaller sizes like one gallon pots to!  Just fill half way, and plant, then step up.




 

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