Developmental Structural Wiring

I have very young trees. They are growing nicely and I want to add some character to the trunk and primary branches while they are still pliable, running the wire far enough down the branches to lay out the foliage to maximize the photosynthetic potential.

Because they are so young I have lots and lots of little branches. I have been reducing where two branches come from the same node, but leaving others if they have enough distance to prevent swelling at this time. As the branches/collars thicken I will eventually have to reduce but they are fine for now.

Because there are so many branches on the trunk, my wire is passing up to 3 branches per revolution around the trunk. When I wire the branches I cannot get a full turn around the trunk without crossing the wire on the trunk. How do I work through this problem? For example, in this image how do I wire branches 2-5?


Do I wire branches 1&4 together, 2&5 together, and 3&6 (presuming there is a 6) together? The problem I see with that approach is I will have several runs of wire around the trunk but it may be necessary.

1 Like

Maybe there are too many branches in one area? Trying to get two twists between branches is going to be difficult. Branches one and five seem to be the only ones that can be wire from one to the other. The rest may need to be anchored to the soil or something higher.


Agreed. It looks like too many branches…assuming you want trunk movement. If you’re going for a formal or informal upright it may be okay. If you’re considering using some as sacrificial branches then perhaps you skip wiring the fodder. If you’re going for movement then you may be able to remove #4 with a trunk movement to the left. Removing 3 and 4 is also an option. Good luck!


Have you watched these? With proper cleaning and pruning technique, wiring should be a breeze


Yes there are too many branches. These are very young trees early in development. I do not want to remove the foliage yet because I want them to grow.

I have two goals for wiring. The first and foremost is to lay out the foliage to maximize photosynthetic potential to aid development. The distant second is to put a little movement in the trunk and primary branches because out of the many, maybe someday one or two will be useful. Having some movement increases those chances. As the branches thicken and close the small gaps between each other, they will have to be reduced in quantity before a structural flaw is created.

I wired out the branches for a few of my young trees in early spring and they really did well receiving full sun on almost every branch because I laid them out to reduce shading from higher branches. Lots of growth at the tips and back budding.

I just watched a couple videos on development and structural wiring. Ryan kept anything that was not creating structural flaws and wiring for the two reasons I stated above: maximize photosynthetic potential and put some interest in the branches in case they become useful in the final design.

That’s all I’m doing and I ran into the problem of having a hard time anchoring by having a complete turn between two branches because the trunk wire was in the way.

1 Like

I’ve seen Ryan anchor a wire under structural wire and wire a single branch. Since you’re nowhere near the refinement stage that may be an option for the random branch. Also, it sounds like you don’t really need to worry about aesthetics rn, so wire away!

1 Like