Monday, March 5, 2012

Pruning

Today is a fantastic day to be outside!!  Never mind that I have a gimpy knee and cold.  March is here and gardening season has officially begun.  First on the list is dormant pruning. There's a few small buds on my trees but they aren't close to opening yet, so I'm still saying they're dormant.
Today I pruned our fruit trees.  This is a bit daunting, but last year I found a fantastic guide from my local extension.  It was too late in the season for pruning so I'm doing my very first pruning this year (!!!).
It's all a pdf file so you'll have to just go to the link.  Check this out:
http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/HG_363.pdf


Before
After



Golden Delicious Apple
You can see on the left that there are two main leaders on this tree.  That needed to be pruned so there's only one so the growth stays even and they don't interfere with each other.  
Now, in hindsight, I'm thinking this means the tree wasn't properly pruned in its younger days and probably wasn't the best choice of tree.  However, I did get it on clearance at Lowe's ($5!) so I couldn't be picky at the time.
I have that with 4 side branches.  This is the central leader pruning.  My other apple (Fuji, not shown) is also a central leader.  

Before
After













Apricot Tree
This tree had some laterals on the left that were going crazy along with the top leader.  To keep the tree more symmetrical I pruned the left heavily and cut off a side branch on the top of the central branch  I didn't like the direction on a branch on the right so I cut that back as well.  I believe I'm doing a modified leader on this.  Here's a look at some inner branches I cut.

too close together and bad angles
poor angle













Anyway, if you're a nervous as I was to prune your trees, hopefully this and the extension file gives you a better idea and more confidence.

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