Need advice re growing, pruning a Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica) outside, in a container


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I recently acquired this sapling of a Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica) and i am hoping to grow it in a container outside, year around because i have the climate for it, so it won't be a "house plant". An internet search reveals that Neem trees can be container grown. Normally, this exuberant tree can reach heights of 75 ft (23 m) planted in just about any kind of soil. I would like to grow and keep the tree between 6 to 8 ft. tall (1.8m to 2.5m).

Right now the sapling is 43 inches (107 cm) from the base at soil level to the crown. The circumference of the trunk one inch (2.54 cm) above the base of the trunk is 2 inches (5cm) and i think it is time to begin the pruning with a cut or two? Spring and Late Summer are the best times for pruning when the tree is small. I am not schooled in the art of growing trees so i would appreciate so much some advice re how to make a happy tree out of this beloved sapling. I would like to grow a more substantial trunk,since it will be open to all the elements. Here is a photo, taken early evening (a little bit dark). By the way, I transplanted it from the little bag it came in to a somewhat larger pot and i transplanted it at the same soil level, someone has suggested that i should have planted deeper. Your ideas re this would be really appreciated as well:)
P1020590.JPG
 
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I recently acquired this sapling of a Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica) and i am hoping to grow it in a container outside, year around because i have the climate for it, so it won't be a "house plant". An internet search reveals that Neem trees can be container grown. Normally, this exuberant tree can reach heights of 75 ft (23 m) planted in just about any kind of soil. I would like to grow and keep the tree between 6 to 8 ft. tall (1.8m to 2.5m).

Right now the sapling is 43 inches (107 cm) from the base at soil level to the crown. The circumference of the trunk one inch (2.54 cm) above the base of the trunk is 2 inches (5cm) and i think it is time to begin the pruning with a cut or two? Spring and Late Summer are the best times for pruning when the tree is small. I am not schooled in the art of growing trees so i would appreciate so much some advice re how to make a happy tree out of this beloved sapling. I would like to grow a more substantial trunk,since it will be open to all the elements. Here is a photo, taken early evening (a little bit dark). By the way, I transplanted it from the little bag it came in to a somewhat larger pot and i transplanted it at the same soil level, someone has suggested that i should have planted deeper. Your ideas re this would be really appreciated as well:)
View attachment 18941
I have never seen a Neem tree but if they are like junipers and cypress trees you wait until it reaches the desired height and then top the tree. It will continue to grow side limbs and you can prune them as needed. Why not plant it in the ground. Any 75 tree is impressive. When you plant ANY tree the root flare must me exposed or it will meet an early demise.
 
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Thank you @Chuck Neem trees are a member of the Mahogany family. I don't have enough space to grow a 75 foot tree although i would grow one if i could. Additionally, i plan to use frequently pruned leaves for mulch in the garden, for berries full of Neem oil so i want a tree that can be harvested without a helicopter.

Thanks for mentioning the root flare, i remember Dr. Dirt going on about that. Will a tree the size that i have in the photo be big enough to have a root flare? I'd better go out and look for one.
 
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@Chuck does this look like a big enough root flare? Or should i dig a little deeper? i guess i should add the photo:) Photo, next post
 
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Thank you @Chuck Neem trees are a member of the Mahogany family. I don't have enough space to grow a 75 foot tree although i would grow one if i could. Additionally, i plan to use frequently pruned leaves for mulch in the garden, for berries full of Neem oil so i want a tree that can be harvested without a helicopter.

Thanks for mentioning the root flare, i remember Dr. Dirt going on about that. Will a tree the size that i have in the photo be big enough to have a root flare? I'd better go out and look for one.
Yes, it will have a root flare, albeit a small one. It is where the trunk separates into roots
 
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Neem tree are so common here, I once tried to pot one but it dies:oops:. I was not careful when it was shedding its leaves.

Btw what do you do to balance the pH of soil after adding too much of leaf compost?(n)
 
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Neem tree are so common here, I once tried to pot one but it dies:oops:. I was not careful when it was shedding its leaves.

Btw what do you do to balance the pH of soil after adding too much of leaf compost?(n)
I don't think you can add too much leaf compost. But if you want to raise the Ph add lime, to lower you can add acid plants or sulphur
 
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Hello @Rajesh Sethi as far as i know, there are 2 ways to kill a Neem in a container in a hurry. One is to not have sufficient drainage which is why i have a few inches of coco fiber at the bottom of the small pot it is now in. Two is to cover the root flare with soil. @Chuck pointed this out to me yesterday and i quickly fixed the problem. The root flare of a tree is where the trunk meets the roots. I had soil all the way up to where the trunk started. Now it looks like this. The top root is a little over an inch long (about 3 cms).
P1020608.JPG

Of course there are probably more ways to kill a Neem in a container and i will probably find one because it is not its natural environment to be contained and because this is quite an experiment for me. Still, people do plant Neem in containers and end up with happy little trees. Neem is everywhere here too, in parks and as a street tree, but i love this tree and hopefully one of these days it will end up a happy little tree in my garden.
 
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