Can I 'train' a branch?


Old 06-13-18, 08:15 AM
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Can I 'train' a branch?

I'm pretty excited that my 2yr old Japanese Lilac tree is blooming for the first time! But I noticed that one of the branches is growing outward more than I would like. Would it be possible to "train" this branch to grow upward?
If so, how would I go about achieving that? Could it be tied up (to one of the other branches?)
I really don't want to cut/prune it off as I don't think it would make the tree look right and that branch has some pretty looking blooms on it right now!
Here are a couple of pictures of the tree, the branch on the lower left is the one I'm concerned with:

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Old 06-13-18, 10:32 AM
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If you want to train a branch to become a central leader I tape/tie a wood dowel or piece of bamboo to the trunk. Use a long enough stick and tie it far enough down so you don't bend the trunk. I most often use the green horticultural tape intended for the purpose. It stretches so it doesn't restrict the plant as it grows. Then pull the branch up and tie it to the stick to train it to grow vertically. Of course you need to be careful and pick a branch that can be bent to the position you want and you do need to be careful and feel the branch as you are bending it. You don't want to break the branch.

If you don't want to go totally vertical but get a branch to be "more" vertical I use wire. I use heavy gauge electrical wire. Wrap it in a loose spiral around the trunk to act as the base. Then loosely wrap the other end of the wire around the branch you want to train. Then you can bend the branch to the position you want. Make sure to check the wire every couple months to make sure it's not constricting the plant.
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