What exactly are water sprouts / shoots?
Yes, IÂve searched here for an answer to this question, but IÂm not finding much Â so here it is: IÂm not really sure, after much reading of many docs on pruning fruit trees, what exactly water sprouts/shoots are? A little background Â IÂve been growing fruit trees here for about 5/7 years, but most of them only date to 3 or 4 years ago. Last year, I realized that IÂd missed the prime pruning opportunities on those trees most recently planted, and I did a significant summer pruning on them (these are all apples and pears).
Now, of course, their new growth is vigorous, and mostly all that growth is going straight up! My problem is in determining how one identifies a true water sprout in the midst of all this upward growth -? Are there any differences in the looks of a true water sprout and a regular branch that just happens to have turned upward to grow? And I guess I need also to know once IÂve learned how to tell the difference, is there anything I should be doing to all those "regular" branches that are growing straight up? There are way too many to be tying each one down! Will they eventually level off once they have fruit on them? Should they be left alone?
Yes, IÂm a little manic about this Â mostly because I have a history of being wrong if I just let nature take its course, and IÂve been wrong when I stepped in and took action! So, for once, IÂd like to be able to say I did the right thing.
Thanks for any help you can give.