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After the storms finished rolling through the Heart of Dixie today, I managed to squeeze a little tree time in. I decided to work on a Poncirus trifoliata "contorta", aka, the Flying Dragon, that I have been growing for several years. With a name like that, who wouldn't want one? It was grown from seed by my dad from the fruit of a tree that he has. It is interesting in that when growing from seed, about 60% percent of the seedlings are not contorted and the rest are. Working on these is not fun, the thorns are brutal! Wiring is painful and difficult. I mostly use clip and grow and guy wires.

This is what it looked like before I started:
I mentioned in the opening that the thorns are tough, the are.  Having a hooked shape, they will grab you, not just poke.  Years ago, these bushes were used for fences.  Imagine a six to eight foot fence of these, with branches intertwined, and two inch hooked thorns everywhere.


I mostly just cleaned it up and removed two large branches that were growing up top.  They had gotten too thick to be part of the apex.
After taking a good look at it, I decided that the lowest branch needed to go. I was keeping it in hopes that it would help to thicken the lower trunk, but it wasn't. After taking it off, I wired the next branch down and over a little bit to fill the space.

Lowest Branch Removed

That is all I did to it today, in Spring, I'll what kind of growth that I get and go from there.  What do you think?