Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Too Late for Pruning Fruit Trees, and Other Mistakes

Unfortunately, I have been so busy for the past couple of months that I never set aside enough time to prune my fruit trees.  This is unfortunate, because this is their second year in my yard, and I have never pruned them.  Fruit trees need to be trained while they are still young to encourage good framework.  They will be healthier, stronger and more fruitful in the long-run.  Fruit trees are supposed to be pruned while they are still dormant, but I saw today that all of my trees are in bloom.  The ideal time to prune fruit trees in Massachusetts is late March.  I have no choice but to wait until next year. This is already on my March To-Do List, but next year I will be sure to make it a priority.

I did take time to examine all of my trees today.  So many issues.  For starters, I have the wrong pruners.  These have a blunt edge.  I need to get pruners that have 2 sharp edges.  Also, I'm supposed to keep these things clean!

I noticed that most of the trees have multiple central leaders instead of one, and that most of the trees have very narrow crotch angles, which means that the trees are susceptible to breakage in storms.  This tree needs to be thinned out, but it already has buds.  Also, I need to start putting weights on some of the branches to encourage them to drop, creating wide crotch angles:

This tree has multiple leaders and needs to be corrected next year:

I also discovered other signs of abuse and neglect.  For instance, I just got around to removing the tags from all my trees.  Shame.  Also, I need to put mulch around the trees to protect them from weed-wackers and lawn mowers:

Lastly, I need to get some tree wrap to protect the trees from deer, mice, and sun.  My plum tree has suffered from either deer rubbing against it or sun-burn - not sure which.  I intend to wrap them as soon as possible and put wire mesh around all the tree trunks.  Also, some of the trees trunks are being chewed by mice or voles:
The pests can be brutal.  I didn't realize baby trees were so vulnerable.
Before I went out to prune the trees, I reread my post from early April about pruning fruit trees.  However, I didn't feel like I had enough information, so I did a little more research.  Here are some other useful sites:


No comments:

Post a Comment