Learning How To Prune Fruit Trees

I am not an expert… Man! Am I NOT an expert. LOL

At the time of this blog post I have only pruned two fruit trees in my life. I pruned both of my pear trees in one day. Since I was a bit timid on my technique I made a video of the process and posted it on YouTube to share on Google+.  My goal was to get some feedback so I could learn better to do it in the future.

Here’s the video.


… and here’s some feedback.

+Rob McLaren said this:

“I like watching your videos, but this time you said you wanted ideas so here goes: have you considered festooning? Pear trees grow streight up so it is hard to reach the fruit when they get older.

I don’t have a link off hand but I use black electrical tape to tie the branches out from the center to a lower branch to create an arc. Branches grow out better and the sugar collects better at this angle giving better fruit. In the summer I prune again and the branches hold the shape. In commercial orchards they use wire clips to hold them down, I’ve heard some use baggies filled with sand, but I use tape.”

This intrigued me so I went off to google for a search. Perhaps I was being Google lazy, but I didn’t find much. So far Rob McLaren’s description is as good as anything else I’ve found. I will try this method and make a video.

+Michele Rager said this:

“Blake, it looks like your trees would benefit from spreading some of the branches to produce wider crotch angles.

We attended an orcharding class through Penn State Ag Extension, and they taught us there that for apples and pears, a cone-shaped tree (with longer scaffold branches at the bottom of the tree and shorter ones at the top) intercepts light most efficiently.

Here is some info. from the Ag Extension’s site:
http://extension.psu.edu/gardening/fphg/pome/pruning/pruning-and-training-to-a-central-leader 

Hope this helps!”

Well, Yes Michele Rager and Rob McLaren these tips do help. I really appreciate the tips and links.

I am not afraid to make a mistake and I certainly am not afraid to learn from my mistakes. I appreciate the input and look forward to many more opportunities to learn from you guys!

Here are some more links the I have found for pruning techniques:

http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/A1959.pdf
http://perrysperennials.info/articles/prunefrts.html
http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/pruning/fruit.html
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/pnw/pnw400.pdf

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