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This Hawthorn was collected in early Spring 2002 from very wet, boggy ground.
Originally a tree of around 10ft, the trunk was very straight, had no branching and had little going for it other than some quite mature bark.
After bare-rooting, the tree was planted into a shallow terracotta container and left to recover.
6 months later the tree was on the road to recovery; new shoots had started to extend and were constantly appearing near the base of the trunk.
I continued to rub these new buds and shoots away in an effort to encourage new growth further up the trunk.
However, by August I gave up and allowed the tree to grow as it wished!
A year later, August 2003. Despite removing 90% of the previous years growth in early Spring, the tree is still very basally dominant and continued to produce new shoots from the base of the trunk at the expense of growth higher up.
December 2003. This Hawthorn wasn't going anywhere. Growth was concentrated around the base of trunk and the trunk itself was straight and boring. There seemed little point in trying to produce a tall tree so I looked for alternatives.
I decided to create a short, hollow trunk using the strong basal shoots as branches.
The tree is pictured above after chopping to around 4" in height.
May 2004 and the tree has recovered well from chopping; here the chop point has been roughly carved out. The new shoots were being grown out and then pruned back to create the branch structure.