Grow Your Own, Nevada! Spring 2012: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees
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Grow Your Own, Nevada! Spring 2012: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees






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  • Make cuts on branch bard ridge so collar heals over itself. Do not paint or seal cuts. Make proper top cuts. Do not top trees ; control height with variety and rootstocks. Control growth direction; generally, prune to downward facing buds for horizontal limb growth. Prune to buds or branches. Do not leave stubs. Prune roots as you would and should a limb or branch.
  • Plant a whip and orient the buds! Cut back to about 18” above the ground. When branches begin to emerge, rub off buds oriented perpendicular to the plane of the fan. When branches are about a foot long, select two and prune all others to the trunk. When branches are about 18-24 in long, prune to a downward pointing bud. Select branches growing in the espalier plane to keep, prune others to about 6 buds.
  • Dormant Pruning: Do in Jan/Feb apples; at pink tip for stone fruits. Prune to a bud going in the direction you want the limb to go.

Grow Your Own, Nevada! Spring 2012: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees Grow Your Own, Nevada! Spring 2012: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees Presentation Transcript

  • PV orchard aerial view 03
  • Training vs. Pruning
  • My Favorite Pruning Books
  • Right toolfor the right job Loppers Pruners Saws Clean Sanitized Sharp
  • Anvil vs. Bypass Shears
  • PruningThe Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
  • Firewood pruning ‘03
  • Firewood Pruning ‘04
  • Firewood Tree ‘05
  • Firewood Tree ‘08
  • Firewood Tree 2010
  • Shade AppleOpen to allowsunlight and airflow
  • Starling Special Dwarfing RootstocksGenetic Miniatures
  • Upright growthAcute limb angles Spring Bare root treesHorizontal Scaffold Limbs
  • Scaffold limbs, fruiting shoots
  • HUH??? Need low, horizontalscaffold limbsDo not planton easements
  • Garden,Orchard or Yard?
  • Topping x 3
  • NaturalTargetPruning
  • Proper pruning cut, before
  • Proper pruning cut, after
  • Well-sealed pruning scar
  • Cut back to a branch or bud
  • Open to infection
  • Natural Target Pruning II• Always cut back to a bud or branch• Always angle the cut away from the bud• Choose growth direction
  • Angle cut away from bud
  • Select bud growth direction
  • Cut to a Branch, Bud, or Fruiting Spur
  • Apical Dominance• Apical dominance is a tree’s response to a pruning cut• All pruning cuts cause the same reaction in a tree• Proper pruning uses apical dominance to shape trees
  • Apical Dominance
  • Size control using rootstocks• Standard—25 ft and up• Semi-Dwarf or half-standard – 8 to18 ft apples, pears – 15 to 20+ ft stone fruits (cherries, plums, etc• Genetic Dwarf/Miniatures—5-8 ft• Varietal vigor
  • Standard Semi-Dwarf
  • Dwarf Apple Tree (must be supported)
  • Easy access to harvest
  • PruningForms for Fruit Trees
  • Training a Horizontal Espalier• Suitable for apples and pears• Recommend 24-16-16-16 inches• Opens tree to sunlight and air flow• Easy to prune• Easy access to spray, thin, and pick• Easily covered with bird netting• Aesthetically attractive
  • Pear espalier on south-facing wall
  • Training Anything’s Possible
  • 1st Year Horizontal Espalier
  • Summer
  • Winter beforepruning
  • Winter after pruning
  • 2nd Year Horizontal Espalier
  • Water sprouts and fruiting shoots
  • Water Sprouts After Pruning
  • Before
  • After
  • 3rd Year Espalier
  • Apple Espaliers Third year
  • Mature Horizontal Espalier
  • Espalier Pear Ohio
  • Mature Horizontal espalier
  • End of Row
  • Apple Espalier early summer
  • PV Orchard 2005
  • Informal or Fan Espalier
  • Candelabra
  • Training a Fan Espalier• Suitable for all fruits• Locate against a south facing wall or as a hedge or fence• Easy to prune, easy to care for• Aesthetically beautiful
  • 1st Year Fan Espalier
  • 2nd Year Fan Espalier
  • Mature Fan Espalier
  • Plum Espalier
  • Renewing a plum espalier, before
  • Renewing a plum espalier, after
  • Training A Central Leader Tree• Apples, Pears, plums, and cherries• Dwarf Pyramid or Pyramid• French Axe• Spindle Bush
  • 1st Year
  • Training Horizontal Limb Growth
  • Training using Clothespins 1st year
  • 2 year, etc; before nd
  • 2nd year, etc; after
  • 2nd Year
  • 2yr dwarf pyramid pear
  • 3rd and Subsequent Years
  • Cut out vigorous growth
  • Vigorous growth removed
  • RegrowthNext Summer
  • Always removeone of any split shoots
  • Split Trunk
  • Thin forked branch growth
  • Mature dwarf pyramid
  • Centralleader pear in bloom
  • Semi-dwarf Central Leader
  • SupportedFrench Axe
  • Central Leader Pears Oregon
  • Central Leader Pears
  • Summary Training aCentral Leader
  • Training an Open Center Tree• Stone fruits, esp. peaches, nectarines• Lowest limb 12-18 inches• 3-5 limbs at low angle form a vase shape• Allows sunlight needed to ripen fruit
  • Training anOpen Center Tree
  • 1yr Open Center Cherry
  • 2yr Open Center Cherry
  • Open Centeroriental pear
  • Open center peach
  • Texas peach orchard
  • Texas peach tree
  • Peach tree at Monticello
  • Winter vs. Summer Pruning• Winter (Dormant) Pruning – Promotes vegetative growth in the spring – Use to train young trees• (Late) Summer and Fall pruning – Reduces food storage in roots and hence reduces tree growth in spring – Use on older, overgrown trees to open and rejuvenate the tree. – Use to establish fruiting spurs
  • Restoring a Neglected Fruit Tree
  • Rejuvenating Neglected Trees• Always – Remove dead, diseased, and damaged wood – Remove crossing/rubbing branches – Remove water sprouts at limb junction – Remove suckers at the root junction• Never – Remove more than 20% green wood each year – Never fertilize
  • Arroyo 2004
  • Arroyo 2008
  • Arroyo Before After
  • 90 yr old Delicious
  • Quincy, CA apple treeHeading Back, Apple Tree, Quincy, CA
  • Standard pear
  • Apple
  • Before After
  • After After 2nd year 3rd year
  • Semi dwarf, before
  • Semi dwarf, after
  • Red Del 09 Before
  • Apple, before
  • Apple, after
  • Pruning for Fruit• Apples and Pears – Spur bearing – Tip Bearing• Plums and Cherries• Nectarines and Peaches
  • Pear flower buds on spurs
  • Peach flower on last year’s growth
  • Pruning for spur fruit
  • Fruiting spurs on mature tree
  • Renewal Pruning of Spurs
  • Pruning for Peaches & Nectarines
  • Peach flower and leaf buds
  • New and old growth on peach
  • Summary• Apical Dominance• Cut to a branch or bud• Choose bud/growth direction• Training vs. Pruning• References, Google It!• Buy a Pruning Book and Use It!