Confused about pruning

LullabyF360May 15, 2013

I have been told from several sources on when to prune. Of course, they all clash with each other. I have quite a few fruit trees. They are young, all about 6ft tall. Some say to prune during the summer. Others during the winter. From research I have done, pruning will cause the tree to halt on the production of fruit, putting all of it energy into making new growth from the clipped sections. Which this is no worry to me. My trees are young, & even though they are trying to make fruit now, any fruit will not reach maturity & won't be good to eat.

Another thing, I also have blueberries. I was told to prune them after harvesting. They are loaded with tiny bluish berries now.

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beeman_gardener(5)

What is the question?
Simple summer prune for fruit, winter prune for growth.
Either fall or early spring to prune blueberries.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 9:07PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Lullaby:

In zone 8a pruning blueberry after harvest is the right approach. We southern growers have time to grow a new top and fruit buds for next year after harvest. Northern growers might prune some after harvest but that will be late summer or fall. If they prune much then they are pruning off next years crop.

On the fruit trees prune in summer to maintain small trees. So this is mostly pruning off excess growth above the fruit. Prune during dormant period to shape the tree, remove crossing or dead wood, and to force new fruiting wood lower on the tree.

I do very little dormant pruning. Mostly it's summer pruning of excess growth. And major pruning after harvest to reshape the tree and renew fruiting wood.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 10:09PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

see training & pruning your home orchard
http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22166/pnw400.pdf

Here is a link that might be useful: training & pruning your home orchard

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 10:55PM
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alan haigh

Pruning delays fruiting when you cut back the branches of young fruit trees. Thinning entire branches does not have the same affect.

If you want specific recommendations from us, we need to know what fruit varieties you are growing and what rootstocks they are on.

Guidelines from university sources are helpful but you can get more specific help here- especially if you provide photos.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 5:24AM
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mrsg47(7)

Simple summer prune for fruit, winter prune for growth.

Is this true? Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:25AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"If you want specific recommendations from us, we need to know what fruit varieties you are growing and what rootstocks they are on. "

That is excellent advice. A good example is you usually want to prune to a branches collar, but with a cherry tree on Gisela you may need to stub prune, which in general you try to avoid at all costs.
Pruning though is very hard no doubt. I'm still trying to figure it out myself.

"I do very little dormant pruning. Mostly it's summer pruning of excess growth. And major pruning after harvest to reshape the tree and renew fruiting wood.
"

This advice is really good too. Since most trees can be pruned in the winter, with a huge exception, cherry trees. Here is a way to prune all trees at the same time.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:29AM
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thapranksta

So does it matter if you prune while the tree is producing fruit? By summer pruning, do you mean warm weather as in mid to late Spring is fine as well? I have a couple of plum trees that are getting really tall (about 10-11 feet) in their 2nd year after being planted. And I was wondering if I should start cutting back branches now. Ideally I don't want them to get taller than about 9.5 feet so I can still do routine maintenance without much difficulty.

I have an Asian pear that was branching very low to the ground and I went ahead and pruned off those branches because I discovered that the branches get much tougher to remove as they have time to develop and harden. This pear tree flowered and lost its petals a couple of weeks before I removed the lower branches.

This post was edited by thapranksta on Thu, May 16, 13 at 12:33

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 12:32PM
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