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Any tree that grows with a bare lower trunk is suitable for training into a standard. Training may even be unnecessary because some trees will develop this habit naturally.
Training a standard tree
These are essentially the same as feathered trees except that more of the lower branches are removed so that the lower part of the trunk can be clearly seen. Although the term “standard” usually refers to a tree with clear trunk, it is also often used to refer to a tree that has grown to a natural shape and size rather than one that has been dwarfed in some way.
The shape is perhaps not quite as “pure” as in the case of a feathered tree. Feathered trees normally have only one central leader, whereas a standard may have one or it may divide at some point on the trunk and have several. The degree of natural division often depends on the situation in which the tree is being grown, For example, an oak tree growing among other trees will often grow tall and slender with just the one leader, but in isolation it will branch out and have a much more rounded shape. In the garden, the leader can be allowed to develop, giving a tall elegant tree, or it can be cut back to produce a branched-head standard, which has a rounder shape. In many cases the tree will automatically try to replace this lost leader. In such a case the gardner will need to be vigilant and prune each new leader out to maintain the desired shape. Conversely, developing a tree with a single leader requires training one main shoot, while others are restrained.
Training a weeping standard
Weeping trees are highly regarded as ornamental plants in the garden. There are basically two types of weeping standard. One comprises trees such as the weeping willow, which have a natural weeping shape. The other type is artificially created. Ground-spreading plants are grafted on to a standard trunk some distance from the ground so that they spread into the air rather than across the soil, often, when bare, creating a shape like the ribs of an open umbrella.
The natural weeping trees are essentially treated in the same way as standard trees. Pruning can be restricted to removing any dead, injured, weak or crossing wood.
The grafted weepers may need a bit more attention. Unlike the natural weeping trees, which need to put on upward growth in order to obtain their tree-like shape, the grafted varieties need to have any vertical shoots removed. At the same time, any new growth on the trunk below the canopy should be removed. They also have a tendency to become”
A weeping willow has always been a beloved tree and can make a setting delightful. We are always here to give tree advice if you need some, and as always for removing the trees as well.