Questions about pruning fruit trees

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Ravenlost, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last Spring I planted two apple trees. One is like a three-pronged fork. The middle "prong" (limb) curves sharply, crossing an outer limb. The other tree has sprouted "suckers" at the base.

    Questions:

    1. At what point should I prune that curved limb? At the base where it comes out of the trunk, which would leave a forked tree?

    2. Should I prune it leaving some limb?

    3. Is now a good time to prune?

    Also, how do I keep the deer from nibbling the tops of the limbs off? I'm thinking about putting wire cages around the trees (this will also keep my husband from mowing them down like he did my peach trees).
     
  2. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    The middle limb is supposed to be your central leader is it the one curving? If so cut it back to a node[ bump] which goes straight up, then cut back the side branches a bit to let leader catch up. I use wire cages around my trees to. If you use them stake them with something or when its windy they can blow over and break tree. This year on my big peach iam going to put four fence post around preimeter then wrap chicken wire around it, that way when I go to pick I can open it to get at fruit.
     

  3. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, it's the central limb that is curving...badly. I didn't feel like it would be a good thing to cut it to the trunk...seems like that could make it easier for the tree to split down the middle. Looks like this tree will require major pruning. :(

    Is this a good time of year to prune?
     
  4. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    Is this a good time of year to prune?


    Yes, whenever the tree is dormant is a good time.
     
  5. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    You dont want to cut the leader back to far, just to were it starts to curve, then the new node will grow upward.
     
  6. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could I possibly stake the limb to straighten it out? It starts to curve at the trunk. :(
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    It would be worth a try to stake it. Make sure you protect the bark so your wire doesn't cut into it. Put gradual pressure on the limb. You will have to start with just a little correction and come back to increase it in small, frequent increments. Prob need to readjust every couple weeks. You can always cut it back later if it doesn't work.
     
  8. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    just guessing, but the tree that has sprouted suckers may have been planted too deep. there is a graft node thingy near the roots. it has to be above the soil.
     
  9. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hmm...will have to check on that. Hubby planted it for me.