Answer: I would not recommend trimming it, part of the charm of this tree is its ability to create a cascading waterfall effect and spread out. The draped effect also helps shade the root area, which in turn helps keep the soil cool and moist the way this tree likes it. You might be able to continue training it taller by staking, however without seeing the plant it is very difficult to give you a specific recommendation. As far as fertilizing, this tree does not need much fertilizing if your soil is average or better. It would be best to run some soil tests and fertilize as indicated by the test results. Or, you could top dress with good quality compost and apply a general purpose or slow release fertilizer each spring, look for an analysis such as 10-10-10 or similar proportions and follow the label directions. Also, using an organic mulch in a flat layer about two to three inches thick over the root area year round will also help feed the soil gradually as it breaks down over time. Your local county extension should be able to help you with the soil tests and analyzing the results. As far as the training, I would strongly suggest you consult on site with a professionally trained and certified arborist for detailed recommendations that you can carry out over time. Enjoy your tree, these are just lovely!
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