A young shoestring acacia (Acacia stenophylla) does not seem impressive, with its slender and somewhat lanky growth. Early pruning helps establish a young tree’s form, and once educated, it requires minimal pruning. Increasing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, it reaches 20 to 30 feet tall and 10 to 20 feet broad. Pendulous branches give a weeping effect, heightened by the long, slender, gray-green leaflike phyllodes, that are flattened leaf comes functioning like leaves.
Forming the Fundamental Shape
Shoestring acacia trees grow from seed, so every plant contains individual variation in the way that it grows. Check the young tree because of its shape. Sometimes this Australian native has many stems from the base and grows into a shrubby plant if left unpruned. The majority of the time, it has a few or several main stems. To form a tree, then select one strong, upright-growing stem, that will become the trunk. Clean a sharp pair of pruners by dipping them in rubbing alcohol to sanitize them, preventing disease introduction. Cut away all of the stems except for the one selected for the trunk. Make the cuts flush with the main stem.
Establishing the Trunk
As the young tree grows, prune it each year in the early spring to remove any strong lateral branches which develop from the selected trunk and are contending with it for dominance. Young shoestring acacias can have slender, whiplike growth, therefore wager the central stem to set up an erect as opposed to slanting trunk. When the tree grows tall enough for the canopy to form, allow lateral branches to develop. Remove the stake once the trunk firms up.
Establishing the Canopy
It requires a while for the young shoestring acacia tree to assume its mature look. Help the canopy to stay open as the tree grows by removing branches that cross each other or develop in the interior of the tree as opposed to outward. Choose strong, main branches that remove the trunk on various sides of the tree to be principal canopy framework branches. Choose branches with a broad angle of growth to the main tree trunk as opposed to ones which form a V to the trunk. The narrow angles don’t support as much weight and can result in branches splitting as they get heavier. Use smaller-sized pruners for slender growth and heavier pruners for larger branches.
Pruning for Maintenance
As the tree’s growth and framework mature, there’s not much demand for additional pruning. Look your tree over every spring, removing dead wood or branches which cross each other. Continue to remove lower branches if you desire more trunk to show or if you would like to be able to walk under the tree. If the shoestring acacia’s origins are disturbed, suckers may form in the base of the tree. If you don’t remove the suckers, they’ll grow into a bunch of fresh trunks. Remove them to maintain the shape of your tree.