Pyracantha design

Trying to pot this in a new pot next fall.
My biggest problem is the tree is extremely 2 sided.
I would like to know if I should get rid of length or slowly build a better canopy. Also the tree has bugs that create a ball forms all over the tree. Any advice on how to handle.
So all advice is appreciated. Thanks
Also any technical advice for Pyracantha is appreciated.

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Front and back

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Bugs

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Hi Joseph, looking at the photos it appears you have a really serious infestation of woolly aphid. They cause all the swellings and lumps you can see. You can treat it with pyrethrin or any of the pyrethroids. Unfortunately the swellings rarely disappear. I think you may have lost the battle for this one. I would also check any other trees you have for infestations and treat them as well.

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Agreed with the comment above.

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No I’m not actually worried about the bugs. I like the look they create. I’m more trying to work with the bugs to create a symbiotic relationship of struggle.

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The swellings they create can split open damaging the tissue below and also provides an entry point for other diseases such as apple canker, though there may be others present in your area. This will then be a stepping off point to infecting your other trees. The tree will never develop as you want because the woolly aphids are taking most of it’s energy. The tree will eventually succumb to it. I don’t suggest people throw away trees lightly, but if it was mine I would be thinking about the rest of my trees and garden that could create a vicious circle of infestation.

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Infestation aside; cut the branches down to the desired silhouette and build from there. You’ll never build the interior as well as you could build a branch from it’s exterior.

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I agree Bentley. When do you think I should perform the cut. Early fall late winter?

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Well sorry to hear your opinion honestly. I don’t think I will be getting rid of the bugs just managing them. I appreciate the input. Keith but I don’t agree that the bugs will keep it from development. I am actually going to make it a point to show you that it can work. I hope you don’t take my challenge poorly. I want the best for my trees. I really do appreciate input.

Also if they do start to ever spread to more trees or start killing this tree. Fingers crossed they don’t. I will definitely eliminate them with pesticides.

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I’d go ahead and do it now. That reminds me; I need to go cut back my elm. It’s growing well out of the silhouette and the branches are as thick as I need them to be. :thinking:

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I think the bugs have already done their job and gave you an interesting trunk. The lumps just look unsightly on the branches.

That said, you won’t know that they’re killing the tree until it dies. Come spring, it just might not leaf out, and by that point it’ll be too late.

It’s like defoliating a tree every year. You’re taking away health and vigour by allowing the bugs to eat your tree. You can only do it for so long until the tree inevitably dies. I hate to harp on you, but kill those bugs man.

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@Giordano I am amazed at you wanting to manage the bugs or even how you will achieve it if you aren’t eradicating them… They are sucking the lifeblood out of your tree. It’s becoming weaker by the week. Even a strong grower like pyracantha will eventually succumb to this form of energy depletion. If you prune you’ll only weaken the tree further. Being evergreen makes it worse as it has to try to maintain foliage during the winter period.
If the bugs aren’t harming your tree why are there so many swellings? The tree is fighting as best it can but it is losing - sadly.

They definitely will but by then it will only take drastic action to eradicate them. I wish you good luck with your project.

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I cut that elm back after I posted this and it already started pushing new shoots. Elms are quite vigorous around here.

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