Cut Three: Encouraging A Branch To Break Bud

 

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Losing a branch through storm damage or from the weight of too much fruit can create unwanted gaps in the canopy.  Cut Three in our Guide To Best Pruning Practice, is useful when you want to stimulate the growth of new shoots so that the tree can develop a replacement limb.  This particular cut needs to come with a health warning, though, as it is the most misunderstood and misused pruning cut.  Unlike Cut One,  you will be pruning two-year or older wood so it is important to understand how the tree will respond.  Continue reading

Cut Two: Removing An Entire Branch

 

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Correct pruning keeps fruit trees healthy. Trees with few overlapping or competing limbs have a better chance of a long fruitful life.  In young and mature trees, allowing more sunlight and air to penetrate the canopy aids tree health and fruit production. Older and veteran trees can be kept in balance, or even rebalanced to prevent them from falling. However, the very act of pruning is causing a wound to the tree. Using the right pruning technique, a tree will seal the wound using its own mechanisms and little harm will come to the tree.

As part of our Guide To Best Pruning Practice In Four Cuts, this blog will look at Cut Two which is used when removing a whole branch back to the trunk or parent branch.  Continue reading

Best Pruning Practice In Four Cuts: Introduction

IMG_0697Why do we prune a tree?  The simplest answer is to give the tree the best chance of a long, productive life. There are, though, many reasons for pruning. For fruit, we want light and air penetrating the centre of the tree; to benefit wildlife, we may want to rebalance a tree that is no longer productive so that it remains standing; or we may just want to create an attractive shape.

Most pruning guides get very complicated very quickly.  We will show you 4 cuts and how the tree will respond to them. Each pruning cut has a specific purpose such as controlling growth, removing damaged or badly placed branches or stimulating the formation of flowers and fruits. Once you understand how a tree will react to being cut in these 4 ways, you have the tools to manage your fruit trees.  Of course, you can choose to get into the complicated stuff – but start here. Continue reading

Pruning By Numbers

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Pruning an apple tree can be a daunting prospect, but try not to give into your fear.  Planting a tree and walking away to leave it to its own devices is not advisable. Trees that are not pruned will produce less fruit over time and the branches will become congested and diseased. Pruning does not need to be complicated. Taking time to understand the theory behind it certainly helps. It’s also useful to bear in mind the number 3. You’ll be surprised how often it turns up when you are making your pruning decisions. Continue reading