CITRUS TREE SHAPING
Ornamental Citrus tree growing is designed according to different needs and follows traditional beauty standards. The most common shapes into which they are grown are the free shape, the espalier or the round shape in pot, the bush and the half-standard tree shapes.
The free shape is the most traditional and widespread in Tuscany, being easy to be maintained as the plant grows. The main disadvantage of this shape is the early fructification of the tree, due to the necessary continuous pruning that shortens the apices of the one-year-old branches from which the tree produces fruits. The free shape is designed on boughs, which, for the first years, will be supported by frames that will give the tree the desired shape. As the tree grows, in addition to periodic pruning, it is important to cut all the inner branches, in order to foster light penetration. Pruning must privilege horizontal branches in order to obtain the desired shape. When the boughs are grown enough to keep the desired shape, the frames are removed and, afterwards, the tree will only need maintenance pruning.
POT PLANT WITH FRAMES ROUND SHAPE
The round shape is typically Tuscan, from the area of Lucca, and was born from the need of winter care. It is achieved by putting supports along the pot’s edges, their number and dimensions varying according to the result that has to be obtained. The supports are then connected with iron circles of increasing dimensions, as the tree grows. The tree’s branches are then tied to the circles, by pulling them out of the frame. As the tree grows, it is better to tie the branches to the frame, rather than to prune the plant. Every time the pot is changed, the frame must be changed as well with a bigger one, until the tree reaches the chosen dimension. One of the reasons why this form is very popular is that it favours a very early fructification. This is due to the fact that branches are constantly bended, so they can bear more fruits: in fact, a vertical branch usually bears less fruits than a drooping one, because in the latter sap collection is fostered and, as a consequence, the fruit buds grow in size.
BUSH TREE AND HALF-STANDARD TREES
Bush and half-standard trees are made with plants that are grafted into straight rootstock in specific points. As they grow, they are pruned similarly to the free shape, with the various pros and cons.
The arch shape is easier to make if compared to the gazebo, both in the making of its frame, and in processing the growing plants. In order to make the arch frame, we pick plants with small branches, since their branches have to be bended, and thus forced. The structure can be ready in about 2 years. The arch shape can perfectly adapt to garden or house entrances.