London PlaneTree Exclamation Trees - Pleaching Update - July 2023

Planted in late October 2021, we have a set of three Exclamation London Planetrees that are planted pretty close to our fence in the backyard.  I tucked them in behind the row of Oakleaf Hydrangeas along the south bed.   When I planted them, I talked about drawing some inspiration from Disneyland and wanted to try to train these into being 'cube-shaped' or pleached in some way.  

They were BARELY more than whips when they went in - something on the order of say .5" caliper. They were barely peeking over the hydrangeas and not much taller than the fence that sat behind them.

I have not touched them with a pruner since they arrived.  I've watered them - along with the shrubs - when I can.  And...in the photo below, you can see their current state.   All three have survived and are now more than three-feet-above the top of the fence.  

My plan - at the time - was to get sturdy trunks established about eight-feet-tall.  And then begin to make the pleach cage/frame on top of that 8'-tall trunk.  These have a ways to go to get there.  I also think they may benefit from some selective pruning to try to help send a signal to a clear leader/apical meristem.  But...the little voice in my head is saying:  don't touch them, Jake.  Let the natural growth take its course.  And prune them in another year or two.  

I also don't (yet) know the natural, final height of the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangeas.  I want these trees to stand out "above" those flowering shrubs.  From what I read, these SHOULD get at least six-feet-tall.  They, too, still have more growing to do.

We'll have to see if I can resist the urge to meddle with all of these this season. 

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