Help spreading peach tree scaffolds

ryan89February 26, 2014

What is the best way to spread the scaffolds on a peach tree. I will be prunin in mid march when the weather gets better and would like to spread the scaffolds at a better angle. Should i use a small rope and tie it to the scaffolds and pin the rope to the ground? And i have a question on spraying also. Should i prune then spray with dromant oil or spray then prune? Any advice would be great.

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I did that last year on apple. I got some twine that was brown and old timey looking (to blend in) and tied branches to bricks, other branches and in one case put a fence post in and moved one sideways.

Most were locked into the place I wanted them in like 3 weeks, so there was no concern with any girdling effect.

My guess is that they won't begin to train to the new position until after they break dormancy.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:17PM
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alan haigh

There is no one best way. The only problem with tying is if you end up bowing the limb- the branch will probably end up stronger if you can keep it straight.

I use Treform spreaders, which are quicker than tying, but I don't know of a source where a home grower can buy small quantities.

If you are handy you can make your own by putting in nails at the end of small pieces of wood and grinding the nails to a point. You can also cut a V into flat wood but it doesn't hold well.

Tying to lower branches, the trunk or ground can work just fine as well, but tie from the middle of the branch you are spreading to help keep it straight.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 5:52AM
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As harvest man said, there is a best spot to tie to. I spent some time on each pulling at different spots using one finger to find the best place to tie and to set the brick.

you don't want the branch to bow nor do you want to risk breaking it. I did some in two steps. Took it as far as I was comfortable with then redid 3 weeks later. That tree had horrible structure, but with that tieing work after my spring pruning it is going to look great.

My trees had been in the ground for 3 or 4 years growing randomly. I got them from a local retail nursury where the employees pretend they know about these things but are absolutely clueless, so basically they lie. But after finding this forum more then a year ago I have read it nearly every day.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:21AM
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1 of the scaffolds looks like it is at a good angle but the other 2 do not. I'm new to this. I planted the tree last spring and did not prune it. It looks like the leader was pruned off because there's 3 scaffolds at the top. They seem kind of high up but I have no choice but to keep them due to one of the lower branches has some sort of black spot on it I will have to prune it of. I will be pruning for the first time when the weather gets better around mid march. I got some dormant oil spray at the store yesterday but it says do not apply during temps under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I've been watching some pruning videos so hopefully I don't prune wrong

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:06PM
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This is a photo of the peach tree. I was going to prune all of the lower branches off. If you look at the pick the biggest branch on the bottom has the black spot on the underside near the collar. So I figured I would keep the top 3 branches and try to spread them to a better angle and prune all of the lower branches off. The 3 branches at the top are a little higher than 3 feet from the ground. Others have told me to cut one severe cut to cut all of the top branches off and remove the diseased or dead branch with the black spot and leave the 2 scaffolds at the bottom of the tree. I'm just worried that it may kill the tree. When I bought the tree it was potted. It said 2 years old if I remember correctly and it's been in the ground in my backyard since spring. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:16PM
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alan haigh

You don't have to eliminate any branches right away as long at tree isn't shading the branches you want as your permanent scaffolds and peach trees don't necessarily require spreading outside of what you can do by pruning. The less you prune the faster the tree grows- at least when it is young.

The wounds created when pruning to outward shoots usually heal with good strength on peaches although this approach is not recommended for apples and pears because of creating weak, zig zagging branches that may break at pruned points under a heavy crop. I've never seen commercial growers using spreaders of string on peach trees with free standing trees. All shaping is done by pruning.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 6:46AM
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