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Deciduous Fruit Trees Growing Cycles, Common Sizes, Training and Pruning.

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Presentation on theme: "Deciduous Fruit Trees Growing Cycles, Common Sizes, Training and Pruning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Deciduous Fruit Trees Growing Cycles, Common Sizes, Training and Pruning

2 Timing of the Cycle The timing of the cycle depends on several factors –Local climate –Local weather –Plant varieties

3 Early Spring The plant is at the end of its dormant stage Vegetative or foliage buds are swelling Reproductive or flower buds begin to open

4 Mid to Late Spring Flowering is in full swing Leafing-out begins Earliest blooms are dropping First fruit are forming

5 Early Summer Leafing-out is complete Branches are growing longer Fruit should be thinned

6 Mid to Late Summer Fruit are ripening Vegetative growth is slowing Next season’s flower buds are beginning to forming

7 Fall Vegetative growth stops Last of the fruit are ripe Leaves begin to drop Bud scales form over reproductive and vegetative buds Tree enters dormancy

8 Winter Leaves have dropped Tree is dormant Flower buds finish forming with winter chill

9 Late Winter – Early Spring In late Winter to early Spring the flower buds swell and bud scales crack and fall away The cycle begins again

10 Winter Chill An accumulation of temperatures of 45ºF or less through the Winter dormancy Winter chill is measured in hours Winter chill is necessary for most deciduous fruit varieties to set fruit Some varieties require as much as 750 hours of Winter chill We might get 300 to 350 hours

11 Sizes of Fruit Trees Fruit trees are commonly grown in 4 different sizes Standard trees – 20’ to 35’ Semi-dwarf trees – 10’ to 15’ Dwarf trees – 5’ to 8’ Genetic dwarf trees 3’ to 5’

12 Training Methods for Young Fruit Trees Originally printed in 1944

13 Training Young Fruit Trees Framework of fruit and nut trees is developed in the first 3 years 3 common methods used to train young trees –Central leader method –Modified central leader method –Vase method Ultimate height of the tree determines the method selected

14 Central Leader Method The tree is maintained with a single central leader This creates a strong and typically taller tree This method produces more internal shade and less ventilation Taller trees require taller ladders

15 Central Leader Method

16 Modified Central Leader Method A compromise between the central leader method and the vase method Produces the strength of a central trunk yet opens the tree to light and ventilation Central leader stops at 6’ to 10’ and just above a branch

17 Modified Central Leader Method Scaffold branches are selected Choose scaffold branches for position – –Radial symmetry –Vertical placement –Angle of branch crotch Subsequent prunings follow the vase method This method also produces a taller tree requiring taller ladders

18 Modified Central Leader Method

19 Vase Pruning Method Most widely used method particularly in backyard orchards Accessible canopy –6’ or 8’ step ladders Open center for maximum light and ventilation Commonly used with apricots, plums, nectarines and peaches Can be used with apples, pears and olives

20 Vase Pruning Method The trunk stays short – to 3’ 3 main scaffold limbs are selected Secondary branches are selected to fill out the primary scaffold branches

21 Vase Pruning Method

22 Vase Pruning Step-By-Step

23 Expectations When someone plants a fruit tree – when do they want to see their first crop? What is the biggest mistake most people make when planting fruit trees?

24 At Planting When planting from a bare-root Cut the main leader back to about 2-1/2’ above the ground above a strong lateral bud Prune any remaining lateral branches back to 2 buds If planting from a container – cut back the 1 st dormant season Let grow during 1 st growing season – no pruning

25 Cutting Above A Bud Cut Too Long Cut Too Close To the Bud Cut At Too Steep Of An Angle Cut Just Right

26 The First Dormant Season The tree has been in the ground for an entire growing season 2 nd season if planted during the season from a container Select 3 branches with wide crotch angles –Evenly distributed radially –6” to 8” vertical spacing between them

27 The First Dormant Season These will become the main scaffold branches Head back to about 1/2 their length Cut remaining main leader off above the “new” top scaffold branch If less than 3 branches to choose from – do not cut off the remaining leader Select the 3 rd scaffold branch the following season

28 Second Growing Season Select 2 buds to develop into lateral branches –One towards the end –One about 1/2 way back to the trunk From the sides of the scaffold branches – not the top or bottom Let these branches develop throughout the summer with no pruning

29 Second Dormant Season Reduce the scaffold branches back by about 2/3s above a strong bud or lateral branch Head back the lateral branches by half – to upward and outward facing buds The “fruiting cylinder” is formed by the removal of branches in the center of the canopy This style of pruning develops a cylinder of foliage hollow in the center

30 Third Growing Season Most trees should be ready to bear and support a fruit crop Subsequent prunings should all be done during the winter dormancy period After pruning remove all foliage from the tree and off of the ground Remove any “mummies” from the tree

31 Pruning the Most Common Fruit Trees Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Oriental Plums, Apples, Pears and Cherries

32 Peaches and Nectarines Produces fruit on 1 year old or last season’s growth Prune 1/2 to 2/3 of all of last season’s wood Reasons: –Fast growing –Needs new wood to bear fruit on –Hard pruning helps to support weight of crops

33 Apricots & Oriental Plums Produces fruit spurs on 2 nd year wood Fruit spurs are short-lived – 3 to 4 years Prune to maintain shape, size light and ventilation – thin mostly Head back last season’s wood by 1/3 to 1/2 Reasons: –Stimulate more fruiting wood – preserving older wood to encourage new fruit spur development –Support the weight of crops –Allow light and air circulation

34 Apples, Pears & Cherries Produces on long-lived fruit spurs that develop on 2 to 3 year old wood Fruit spurs can live 20 to 25 years Prune to maintain shape, size light and ventilation – thin mostly Reason: Slow growing – heavy pruning is not necessary

35 In General The hardest pruning is done at the top of the tree The goal is to: Maintain the desires height Maintain the overall shape and size Less hard-pruning is done within the fruiting cylinder

36 Roses

37 Hybrid Tea Roses Prune in winter when dormant Bloom on current season’s growth Remove all suckers below the graft union Remove any dead, damaged or diseased canes Develop 6 to 12 equally spaced canes Younger canes tend to flower heavier Canes should be from 18” to 36” high by 1/2” in diameter

38 Hybrid Tea Roses After pruning the shrub should appear as an open vase shape with few to no branches All cuts should be made to upward and outward facing buds Cuts should be made at a slight angle away from the bud Remove all foliage from the plant and ground

39 Climbing Roses Prune in winter when dormant Flowers occur towards the ends of new growth in spring and summer Train canes horizontally to establish a framework As new lateral canes develop along the main canes train horizontally

40 Climbing Roses Horizontal canes should be spaced about 12” to 18” apart In winter thin lateral growth to space 12” apart Head remaining lateral growth to 2 to 3 buds Periodically replace main horizontal canes

41 Saving Old and Overgrown Plants Rejuvenation Pruning

42 A.K.A. Restoration Pruning Method used to restore the beauty and vigor of old, overgrown woody trees and shrubs Can be used to maintain a desired size of potentially large landscape shrubs Typically done over a series of pruning sessions – reducing stress to the plant

43 How Much First remove any dead, damaged or diseased wood Next begin to remove about 1/3 of the oldest, largest living branches On older, larger plants it may be necessary to remove less at one time This is a judgment call based on the gardener’s experience and knowledge of the plant

44 How Often Rejuvenation pruning is typically done over a series of at least three seasons In some cases 4 or more seasons may be required to complete the process To continue to maintain shrubs remove some of the oldest wood every year Always use good pruning techniques

45 Shearing vs. Hand Pruning

46 Shearing Fast, non-selective method of pruning It should be limited to plants with leaf sizes of less than 1” It should also be limited to plants that can recover fast enough to hide the sheared leaf stubble and exposed ends Shearing forces the growth of adventitious buds along stem internodes causing a heavy buildup of growth at stem- ends

47 Shearing Continual shearing can lead to the buildup of exposed, dead or bare stem ends Very often, continual shearing will require rejuvenation pruning to restore a plant’s appearance Depending upon the type of plant and the frequency of shearing, rejuvenation pruning may need doing annually

48 Shearing For smaller areas, consider using hand-shears – they typically do a better job than power hedge trimmers Or better still, consider hand pruning

49 Hand Pruning A slower method Offers more selectivity Hand pruning allows removal of exactly what was intended Hand pruning eliminates the unsightly leaf damage, buildup of dead stem-ends and adventitious growth Hand pruning tends to reduce the frequencies of subsequent prunings

50 Ground Covers Pruning and Rejuvenation

51 Ground Cover Basics Many different types of plants are used as ground covers in today’s landscapes In the truest sense of the definition, ground covers should be able to spread and root along the stems that come into contact with the soil

52 Ground Cover Basics Many plants that do not fit into this definition are still used as and are referred to as “ground covers” and in many cases can best be described as low fillers The methods of pruning described here are intended for use on the plant materials that comply with this definition of “ground cover”

53 Restoration Over time many groundcovers can develop thick overgrowth This overgrowth is often a source of: –Invertebrate pests – slugs, snails and various insects –Vertebrate pests – rats and mice –Diseases The overgrown vegetation often inhibits irrigation

54 Restoration Many ground covers benefit from periodic scalping to reduce the overgrowth Before scalping groundcovers: –Locate all irrigation heads –Remove all debris Rotary brush-mowers are typically used

55 Rotary Brush-Mower

56 Restoration Periodic scalping increases light and air circulation producing healthier, more lush vegetation Periodic scalping also reduces the buildup of dead stubble at the edges of the ground cover planting Annual scalping can be done at the end of the dormant season – depending on the ground cover type and vigor

57 Maintenance Edging should be done at a steep angle to reduce the buildup of stubble along the edges Balanced fertilizers can be used once a year – after scalping or at the start of the growing season Some ground covers may require periodic feeding, others none at all

58 Non-Traditional Ground Covers Some woody, spreading plants may fall into this category, i.e. junipers It is inappropriate to scalp such plants It is best not to edge these plants Prune what needs to be pruned using only hand pruners

59 Non-Traditional Ground Covers Thin out or head back selected branches by following them back into the plant and removing them at a logical point Always HIDE YOUR CUTS! This method maintains a softer appearance

60 The Right Tool For The Job Any job requires the use of the correct tool It is important to the correct pruning equipment when pruning any plant

61 Hand Pruners There are two common types of hand pruners Hand pruners are typically good for cuts up to about 3/4” in diameter – depending on the hardness of the wood

62 Bypass Pruners Cuts with a “scissor” action with one blade passing by the other Bypass pruners tend to make cleaner cut

63 Anvil Pruners Cuts with one sharp blade coming down on to another Anvil pruners tend to crush stems

64 Loppers Loppers can be described as “long- handled” hand pruners Most loppers are good for cuts up to 1- 1/2” diameter Larger loppers are made to handle cuts up to 2-1/2” diameter Handel lengths vary as well Loppers also provide an extended reach – even when cutting smaller diameter branches

65 Loppers Bypass Lopper Anvil Lopper

66 Hedge Shears Used to shear hedges Can also be used to quickly dead-head herbaceous perennials They can offer some selectivity when shearing When kept sharp and clean they leave clean, crisp cuts

67 Hedge Shears

68 Pruning Saws Pruning saws vary in shape and size depending upon the task They typically have coarser blade – a carpenter’s saw doesn’t work

69 Pruning Saws Bow Saw Surgery Saw Folding Limb Saw

70 Chain Saws These can make short work of larger limbs They are not intended to shear plants Wear all of the protective gear necessary Use the safely Gas or electric

71 Pole Pruners and Pole Saws These rarely work as a combination tool It is best to have separate pole pruners and pole saws They are both hand powered and gas or pneumatic The upside – they can greatly extend your reach The downside – it can get you too far away from the work – accuracy can suffer

72 Pole Pruners and Pole Saws Pole Pruner Head Pole Saw Head Pneumatic Pole Tools

73 Power Hedge Trimmers These should only be used on plants with small foliage and capable of quick recoveries They can cover a large area in a short time This type of shearing often triggers a response of adventitious shoots at the cut ends causing a thick, overgrown appearance

74 Power Hedge Trimmers Probably one of the most misused tools in the landscape maintenance arsenal Possession does not require use Many times hand tools do a better job and reduce the need for constant shearing

75 Power Hedge Trimmers

76 Maintenance of Pruning Tools It is important to maintain all pruning equipment – manual and power Keeping tools sharp and clean will expand their life span Clean, sharp tools makes pruning tasks easier and safer

77 Clean Equipment Clean all equipment before storing Remove sap build-up on pruners Remove rust Oil and lubricate tools before storing When storing power tools for extended periods – run out the fuel and change the oil Clean debris buildup that collects in power hedgers and chainsaws

78 Sharp Equipment It’s always best to go into a pruning job with sharp tools Files, sharpening stones and grinders can be used to maintain a cutting tools edge Find what works best for you and the specific tools Learn to sharpen your power hedge trimmers and chainsaws

79 Lubricants Keep pruning tools well oiled – to keep them working freely Keep power trimmers and chainsaws well lubricated – to reduce “freezing-up” Use the proper fuels and fuel-oil mixtures Equipment that works well is usually safer to handle


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