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Pruning Apple Trees - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Pruning Apple Trees

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  • Pruning Apple Trees

    Hi all,
    I've been busting my bum during this cold/wet weather to prune my seven apple trees. I hacked the heck out of them last year, as it had been a couple of year since they'd been pruned. I got almost no fruit last summer, after a glut the year before.

    I'm not sure if it was the noticeable lack of Honey Bees or my excessive pruning that cut the production. Anybody here have recommendations for pruning these suckers? I still can't tell a fruit bud from a bud that will just grow a new branch.

    Thanks.
    G.
    GJBingham
    -----------------------------------
    Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

    -

  • #2
    Re: Pruning Apple Trees

    It depends on what system you're using, open or central leader. Mostly, you want to X out the new growth that point straight up and leave the downward limbs. Thin out lateral running branches. Usually, you want to cut just after the bud and leave only what will be supported come apple pickin' time.
    I've got a yard full of 'em but haven't messed with them in years. I can't stand the spraying part. In a nutshell, you kinda want them to look like helicopters parked on the tarmac.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pruning Apple Trees

      Originally posted by PizzaPolice View Post
      ...In a nutshell, you kinda want them to look like helicopters parked on the tarmac.
      Or a big wine goblet. Curved, and open in the middle. :-)
      James
      Pizza Ovens
      Outdoor Fireplaces

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pruning Apple Trees

        Thanks. That's pretty much what I've got. Very big old trees pruned to umbrella shapes over the years. I try to direct the growth downward to make for easier picking.
        G.
        GJBingham
        -----------------------------------
        Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

        -

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pruning Apple Trees

          You don't want advise from me... I pruned a lemon tree two years ago and it has retaliated by not setting a bud ever since. I did prune it hard, but spoke softly throughout the procedure. Maybe I should have sung it a lullaby too!

          Good luck on your pruning!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pruning Apple Trees

            Ha! No lulabies for the trees then. Watch for my progress on the trees on George's Pompeii Progress thread.
            GJBingham
            -----------------------------------
            Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

            -

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pruning Apple Trees

              Hello George!

              Bianca's the pruning 'expert', I'll check with her when she comes in tonight. But the open vase approach, and the castration of vertical 'water sprouts' sounds about right!

              We have possums that prune our apple trees for us: they climb along the slenderest branches until the branch breaks - and eventually dies off...

              The possums - and nasty big birds that look like hyaena crosses - have so far ripped off almost every single nashi pear, most early apples and are now getting stuck into the unripe late season apples...

              I've managed to protect one William pear tree with huge amounts of netting, but had to cut off the central leader just to get the nets over the tree...

              Cheers,

              LMH
              "I started out with nothing, and I've still got most of it"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pruning Apple Trees

                Carioca,
                Thanks for the input. Those birds do sound big and nasty. Netting fruit trees must be a pain. I hate to even think about getting the stuff over grape vines.
                G.
                GJBingham
                -----------------------------------
                Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                -

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pruning Apple Trees

                  Raise some hawks and owls...predators..then you may have the fruits of your labor.
                  An excellent pizza is shared with the ones you love!

                  Acoma's Tuscan:
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/a...scan-2862.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pruning Apple Trees

                    If I scared away the birds, the deer would be next to harvest the vines. Whatta ya gonna do?
                    GJBingham
                    -----------------------------------
                    Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                    -

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pruning Apple Trees

                      Hi George
                      If your trees are pretty old some of them will go to a bi-annual bearing state. They will only bear fruit every other year. Your pruning has little or no effect when your trees hit this age. A commercial orchard depends upon yearly high yielding trees to remain profitable. They pull out thier trees and replace them evevy 6 to 7 years. Of course they also miss out on some great tasting apples.
                      If you're not sure if they are getting their pollen spread you could always light candles, play soft music and pollenate by hand.
                      Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pruning Apple Trees

                        Originally posted by brokencookie View Post
                        Hi George
                        If your trees are pretty old some of them will go to a bi-annual bearing state.
                        If you're not sure if they are getting their pollen spread you could always light candles, play soft music and pollenate by hand.

                        That seems to be the case from what I saw last year. Plus, with heavy pruning, I've read that they put all their energy into growing new wood and not producing fruit. Great input!

                        I did dance naked in front of the trees. Will that help?
                        GJBingham
                        -----------------------------------
                        Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                        -

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pruning Apple Trees

                          I did dance naked in front of the trees. Will that help? [/QUOTE]


                          OWoooooo Ouch Owooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
                          The picture in my head is hurting me

                          Your wife must be a wonderful and patient woman, with no taste in men
                          Last edited by brokencookie; 01-18-2008, 12:07 AM. Reason: mistakes
                          Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pruning Apple Trees

                            Originally posted by gjbingham View Post
                            If I scared away the birds, the deer would be next to harvest the vines. Whatta ya gonna do?
                            My favorite deer story is that you don't have to build a fence that is so high the deer cannot jump over it; you just have to build a fence higher than your neighbor -- so they eat his garden.

                            One time I startled a deer in our backyard, and he jumped a 7' fence without a run. He just bounced twice and was gone.

                            James
                            Pizza Ovens
                            Outdoor Fireplaces

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pruning Apple Trees

                              Originally posted by gjbingham View Post
                              I did dance naked in front of the trees. Will that help?

                              No wonder my trees don't bare much fruit! ...Oh wait, I'd have to get my husband to dance naked, right? Cool idea, I'll let you know what he said.
                              ("C'mon, all the guys on the Pizzaforum do it, so it must work...")
                              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

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