Ryan uses the words “pushing the energy into the interior shoots”, for example in the Elongating Species video. I’m trying to understand what this means. Is this about pruning back, which encourages new growth closer to the trunk? Does this new growth equate to new branches or just lengthening of existing branches? Is the goal to increase the bushiness of the tree, or something else?
(Sorry I know I’m asking a lot, but I’m learning so much in doing so. I really appreciate all your answers!)
When the tip is pinched or pruned, the energy that was going to go to it will now be redistributed in the branch. The next place for it to go is into actively growing tips. If there are none, then it will likely activate buds that have swelled but not yet opened. Beyond that, it will rarely create new buds (or eventually branches) but sometimes might (don’t count on it though, because you’ll most likely have a dead branch).
The goal of this is to encourage growth closer to the trunk. This can be to strengthen interior branches that will eventually take over completely or to create more branch density for fuller pads. Generally we do want the tree to look fuller but we don’t necessarily want it to be as bushy as a bush.