I have a ‘thing’ for clump styles. A few years ago I had the opportunity to purchase a flowering quince and upon seeing its clump form I bought it. Since purchasing it I have styled it a couple of times and experimented with a few different methods of growing it. It flowers profusely and easily but it seems to really resist ramifying, instead always wanting to grow only one bud per branch. This is a problem if you dream of densely ramified clumps.

I started out trying to use defoliation to force some back budding. This worked to a point but the tree quickly weakened and stopped pushing growth and although some back-budding occurred it still was very tip dominant.

I then used hard cutting back to try to stimulate some of the inner buds which worked toa point but again the terminal buds were mainly the only buds to burst.

After the clumps first styling

After the clumps first styling

The first budding after styling

The first budding after styling

The beginning of a heavy flowering. (now when i am trying to build branches i cut off flower buds)

The beginning of a heavy flowering the following year. (now when I am trying to build branches I cut off flower buds)

After a hard cutback.

After a hard cutback.

This year I tried what I am calling partial defoliation. It seems to be working much better. The logic as I see it is that by removing most of the photosynthetic surface area but leaving some leaves to continue providing energy you force a budding but keep the tree much stronger than a full defoliation.

The central trunks became infested with borers so i removed them. This is the quince in full summer leaf.

The central trunks became infested with borers so i removed them. This is the quince in full summer leaf.

After the partial defoliation

After the partial defoliation

The basic technique is to remove leaves at each clump of growth down to one leaf. This lets a whole lot of light into the inner buds and keeps sap flowing to the remaining leaves. The results are buds bursting nicely back into the inner canopy.

A clump of leaves

A clump of leaves

Leaves reduced

Leaves reduced

Some of the resulting budding

Some of the resulting budding

Some of the resulting budding

Some of the resulting budding

Now this tree is a fair way off being exhibited but hopefully with a few more seasons using this technique I will be able to dramatically increase the amount of ramification in this tree and get it into a much more presentable state.

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