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Saturday, 14 July 2007

The First Cut Is The Deepest

Pruning your fruit trees

Pruning trees can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it.

I want to make it easy so here are some really basic basics:

Firstly, prune the tree to size. Unless you have a 30m high ladder, it is pointless to have a 30m high cherry tree.

Secondly, prune to get the tree to not poke you in the eye as walk past on your footpath.

Thirdly, prune the centre of your tree. This is achieved by clearing away any inward facing branches. This allows light and air to get through with ease.


Decent cutting implements

The chainsaw is my universal I-can-prune-anything-with-this tool LOL

It is important that your tools are sharp and clean. You don’t want to risk spreading any diseases to other trees.

You can use household bleach as a disinfectant.

In this example I will prune the cherry tree.

The boundaries are easily seen here since I want to make the tree fit within the framework so that a net can be placed over the tree later.

See here to see what it looks like netted.

Cut away any branches that will stick out beyond the framework and proceed to cut back any dangly branches especially those pointing inwards.

The end result is a cleaner looking cherry tree.

You can afford to be brutal with your pruning because usually the worst that happens is that the tree doesn't fruit this season.

Some stonefruits (peaches and nectarines etc) fruit on the previous seasons new growth so only cut their branches back by less than half or else you will lose your fruit.

Apples and pears produce fruiting spurs and they look different from branch spurs. Leave as many of them on as you feel comfortable leaving.

I am happy to answer any questions about pruning but you have to check Scarecrow's blog to know about growing healthy trees.

Hope this is useful,

Regards, Doc ;-)

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