Thursday, April 10, 2014

Apple Trees and Other Fruit Trees - Pruning and Disease

I pruned my apple trees on April 5.  I knew I had to hurry, as the daily temperature is warming up and the trees will soon be in bloom.  The best time to prune apple trees and other fruit trees is while they're still dormant, which is late winter to early spring.  However, I did read somewhere that any pruning is better than no pruning at all. Again, I followed the instructions I received at a WMMGA seminar.

I pruned my plum tree, nectarine tree and pear trees yesterday, on April 9.  My plum tree looked horrendous.  It had (and still has) "wounds" all over and looks pathetic.  I'm wondering if I should rip it out?  I tried to prune off as much of the wounded wood as I could, but the trunk also has gaping wounds. The base of the trunk is also a mess with chewed bark. I feel so bad for this tree!  I wonder if I should call a tree specialist or just consult a good book. Maybe I should send pictures into the email hotline!? Now there's a thought!

 All of the trees showed a lot of new growth, but a lot of that growth had to be cut off in order to let light and air through the tree.  Also, many of the branches were growing either straight up or straight down, or they were growing inward or rubbing against each other.  I cut so much that I was worried I wouldn't have anything left of the trees!  However, this is good for the trees and will result in a lot of fruit (I hope!!)

Pruning got a little tricky where "central leaders" were concerned.  All of the trees have obvious central leaders except for my nectarine tree.  There just isn't one central leader. As a result, it looks like a tuning fork!  I think this is because it wasn't pruned properly in the past.

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