Oak pruning


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Hello gardeners,
About 2 years ago I started this oak tree from an acorn, it seems to be doing pretty well but I see a lot of new branches coming from everywhere. I would like to do some pruning to form a single main stem. Can you give me some advice on how to do that and WHEN... is now a good time?
IMG_20211014_180909.jpgIMG_20211014_180925.jpg
 
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Do you intend to plant this oak, or do you want to keep it in a container indefinitely? If the latter, what form and size are you hoping to achieve?
 
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Do you know what sort of oak it is? Different ones have different habits. In England the English Oak has low branches on a short trunk, maybe seven or eight feet, the heavy, curved, boughs used to be used in ship building. The Durmast is grown more nowadays for commercial timber as it goes straight up to about twenty or thirty feet. You may be conditioned by what you are growing.
 
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Do you intend to plant this oak, or do you want to keep it in a container indefinitely? If the latter, what form and size are you hoping to achieve?
I intend to pant it in the ground at some point.
 
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Do you know what sort of oak it is? Different ones have different habits. In England the English Oak has low branches on a short trunk, maybe seven or eight feet, the heavy, curved, boughs used to be used in ship building. The Durmast is grown more nowadays for commercial timber as it goes straight up to about twenty or thirty feet. You may be conditioned by what you are growing.
I am not sure about the sort, but the forest I got the acorn form has big tall oaks with branches that seem pretty high on the trunk.
 
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Do you want a multi trunk tree or a single trunk tree. If the latter, remove all of the root sprouts leaving the larger main trunk. You can remove the root sprouts now. You really need to research and find out what kind of oak this is to find out it growth habits.
 
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To select for a single main trunk, just make sure that the larger, central stem is always significantly taller than all other basal branches. This will maintain hormonal, apical dominance of that stem (the trunk). At this point don't try to completely remove all those other basal branches. Most will stay low and help develop the tree's basal burl.

More importantly, I would recommend planting this tree in the ground next spring. If you can't to that, at least repot it into a significantly larger container. Something like a 5 gallon/20liter container would be good.

Also examine the tap root if it has started to spiral around the pot, it might need to be pruned back to encourage outward radiating root branches. Most well-grown container trees have their tap roots pruned, but it is much better to do this when the sapling is small so the prune wound will be less traumatic.
 

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