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Old 03-17-2008, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fruit tree pruning

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Originally Posted by bencelest View Post
Richaard :
I noticed that your trees are cut on top. I don't do that because I am Leary I can make a mistake. Is there any art of doing it?
I have found that there is more than one method that produces healthy trees and great harvests. The problem comes when a novice mix-and-matches from different schemes. So pick one that suits your lifestyle, and stick with it -- or end up with sticks!

Here's my take on pruning -- I'm sure other fruit tree sages on this site will also offer great tips and their own methodology.

Any fruit on the tree higher than you can reach is literally for the birds. The height limit for my trees is 8 feet, since I'm 6 foot tall. I keep an 8-foot length of 1" plastic pipe around as a standard for when I top my trees. I do this after harvest and also in the winter after thinning. My white fig is an exception because the fruit-bearing whips are so flexible I only prune at winter time at about the 3 foot level.

Here's a blurb I wrote recently for the horticultural society: http://www.plantsthatproduce.com/col...er_Pruning.htm

Here's an instructive picture for pruning white figs -- assuming you are going to skip the "breba" crop for the better tasting summer crop.

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Old 03-17-2008, 07:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruit tree pruning

Thank you Richard. That's an eye opener. I learn something everyday I'd say.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruit tree pruning

This has really been helpful. We have an old peach tree that is a mess. I don't know how old it is but I suspect it was planted in the late 70's or 80's. The place stood vacant for over 10 years before we bought it. We started pruning it just a little each year and the fruit has gotten a little better but still barely bigger than a golf ball. I think we'll just get aggressive with it and hope for the best.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruit tree pruning

CookieCows, that sounds like just the situation I had with my apricot tree. Prune your peach tree with a chain saw and start feeding it like you feed a plat of banana (a cup of 10-10-10 per month or equivalent). Skip having a crop this year for great crops starting next year.

Take a look at this picture of my apricot tree, you can see where the chainsaw cuts were made 4 years ago. It was a huge tree -- I probably got a 1/2 cord of wood!

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Old 03-18-2008, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruit tree pruning

After seeing the picture above, I re cut my Italian prune tree again this morning. 10' is too high. I reduced it to 7 feet and I am satisfied. Pictures will follow. Thanks. Riichard.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruit tree pruning

You're welcome Benny, and I think you made a good decision. In the long run, plums and prunes develop spurs from which fruit is borne. Keeping your prune at a fixed height will encourage this development. Here's a picture of my plum.

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Old 03-18-2008, 03:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruit tree pruning

My biggest problem is the neighbor. They don't prune their trees. If I completely prune my trees, I will be shaded out completely and my tree become unproductive. Tried talking with them but they don't care.

So as a result, I only prune the inner side, but the one on the border, it is a height race to the skies.

My pruning is always a combo with grafting, a nice way to balance your trees.
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruit tree pruning

Joe:
I talked to our neighbors last week and they said yes but I voluntered I'd do it myself which is OK with me. I have a tall ladder and a sawsaw and 3 teenage sons.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruit tree pruning

Here's the Italian prune that I cut the tops off drastically yesterday.


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