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Pruning mis-shapen young apple & pear trees.


 
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Feargal.Murphy
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Ring of Kerry

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:49 pm    Post subject: Pruning mis-shapen young apple & pear trees. Reply with quote

Hi

I have 5 apple trees and one pear tree . All were purchased in winter 2007/8 as 2 year old trees. They were initially grown in large pots but planted out in final locations in Spring 2009. I did some minor pruning when planting but wasn't sure whether I was doing it the right way - I essentially adopted the view that one can't kill an apple tree!
They have since developed in a somewhat random haphazard way and the tree shapes are rather varied. I'd like to prune them this winter in such a way as to get them back to reasonable shape.
The links at end of message contains pictures of each tree taken in (a) Jan 2010 and (b) Dec 2010 - each with captions detailing name etc.
The Summer Red, Jonagored and Pirouette gave lots of fruit last summer - the branches were laden down. In the case of the Pirouette, the tree is badly mishapen although I did have the trunk tied into the stake and released it for the picture.

I would appreciate any specific pruning advice for each tree .
All apple trees are on M9 root stock except the Brambley and Boskop which are on M26. For scale, the stake height is about 3.5 ft.

http://picasaweb.google.com/100993241653239341919/FruitTrees02Jan2010#

http://picasaweb.google.com/100993241653239341919/FruitTrees29Dec2010?authkey=Gv1sRgCIrFtoa1xNuv1wE#


Thanks in advance
Feargal
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:38 pm    Post subject: pruning apples and pears. Reply with quote

This is a great time to prune a tree into shape. I had a look at your photos and very nice they are. Pruning is not really rocket science but you should watch where the blossoms appear in Spring and take a whole series of photos then. As far as shaping an apple tree is concerned pretend the stem of the tree is the stem of a wine glass and shape all the branches abobe the stem so it will eventually become a wine glass. ALL branches large and small which intrude into the wine glass must be cut out year by year, but never too much in any one year. No branch should be allowed to grow higher than you can reach to pick off the apples. So after about 5' to 6' high cut off and new branch that is reaching for the sky. I NEVER prune an apple tree once there ius ANY sigh of life coming into the buds.

As for the pears, as little pruning as possible. My experience of these lads is leave well enough alone. They tend to fruit on the outside of the tree no matter what way they are pruned. AND as with everything else on this forum wait for toher opinions. I'm a known lunatic.

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Retired trouble-maker. twitters @walltoall and dreams of being promoted to Pedunculate Oaker.
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Feargal.Murphy
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Ring of Kerry

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:47 pm    Post subject: re. pruning of young apple trees Reply with quote

Thanks Walltoall for the very useful tips.

Feargal
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