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Branch Support Suggestions

Posted by hoosierquilt z10a/23 Vista Calif (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 12, 12 at 17:55

Okay, speaking of Chandler pummelos, I have a fairly young tree that I allowed just 6 fruit to remain. But, needless to say, that is going to make an already large fruit end up the size of a basketball :-( Right now, they're about the size of a cantaloupe and about as heavy. I need some suggestions on how to support the branches, here, and I need to get them supported this weekend, or I'm going to end up with broken/torn branches. If you can give me VERY specific directions, I can construct something. I have a stake up, but honestly, the fruit is so blasted heavy, I think it could pull the stake over. Open to suggestions!

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Patty S.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

If it were my tree, I would take off the outside fruits; I had the same problem with my first Chandlers; but they were stronger, being on Macrophylla. If you want to support them, I am always against stakes. I would build a square wooden frame just above the canopy and large enough to surround the canopy, supported on the four corners by "posts" ... probably 2X2 fir would be enough; then you can support the limbs with soft rope suspended from the top.
Don't pull the limbs up from where they are; or only a little, as the bent branches will produce new vertical shoots and strengthen your tree.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

I thought about that, but I just can't bring myself to remove just lovely fruit, so they're going to stay. I know next year, I'll probably have a tree full of fruit, but for this season, I want to have at least these 6 fruit. So, build a little 2 x 2 frame with furring strips (which are out of Fir), create a square top, then tie up the branches from the top with soft rope, not pulling the branches up too high. Okay, I think I can do that. My grapefruit trees are also in need of support too, I think Since grapefruit produce in clusters at the ends of the branches, they can get awfully heavy, too, even with thinning, because the remaining fruits get bigger.

Patty S.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

Make a teepee from three long stakes. Add a horizontal rung to the stake to support heavier branches.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

a tall stick for each fruit with a pantyhose or some netting.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

Okay, Keith, you're saying set up two three-stake "tepees", run a stake across the top, then tie the branch to the horizontal stake. And houston, I think I'd need to use rebar to hold these fruits up, no kidding. But, I can do that, and actually, that would be easier to drive into the ground with a little sledge hammer.

Patty S.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

Just do one teepee over the entire tree and two rungs to support those two laden branches.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

Not sure how tall your tree is, but maybe a 1" x 1" stake pounded in to the ground to just the height you want your branch. Cut 2 sections of 1" x 1" about 3-4" long and use a screw to attach both to your 1"x1" (should look like a "Y") I would lay something in the Y that the limb can rest on but not rub bark off on. And then use some twine to secure the tops of the Y. When the fruit is done, you can untie the twine and remove the Y

We use 2x4 Y's to support branches on everything from Bananas to peaches to persimmons (of course those are bigger, have 2 screws to hold the Y arms and instead of pounding in the ground we wedge under the limbs.)


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

Okay, I opted for the least labor-intensive solution, thanks to another great citrus forum I'm on: Simply set two large 15 gal black nursery pots underneath the fruit. I staked both pots down with a piece of rebar, in case we get some wind (don't want the pots to blow away. So, problem fixed for now. Not the most attractive solution, but I don't think you can see the tree that well, even from way up my driveway, so for now, this will suffice!

Patty S.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

I second the tee-pee. Too easy to do. You could tee-pee each fruit cradling them on top of the tee-pee. No hammer no nails just 3 pieces (you could do more) of furring strips or stakes and some twine easy to adjust to any height. You would be removing the load directly at the point it occurs.
Ok, maybe something to distribute the load on the fruit itself, some cushion.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

PVC pipe with fittings. Don't glue the fittings and it can be removed and reused on other trees if needed. Cut the pipe to appropriated lengths and add fittings to place cross bracing. I build a PVC box around my trees with 2-3 levels to hold the limbs. Mostly use on the meyers and sometimes the satsumas depending on how much fruit it is holding. Tap the poles into the ground or dig holes and plant them.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

Well, being the very un-enterprising young lady I am, here was my simple solution:
Photobucket

I have the buckets staked with some rebar so they don't blow away.

Patty S.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

Patty,
Great solution...works very well.
Best of luck, keep us informed


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

A well balanced solution.

Might I suggest some ribbons and bow?


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

Hah! Fortunately, it can't be seen from the street or really even from my driveway, so this goofy setup will work for now, and until the fruit is ripe. Which won't be until next July. I wonder how large these two crazy Chandlers will end up being? That's what I get for thinning the tree, lol!

Patty S.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

Thanks, John. You can see how huge these Chandlers already are (those are 15 gal. black pots). I should hold one in my hands and have my hubby snap a pic so you can see their size . They are really quite huge. Bigger than what you see fully ripe in the grocery store. So, I think maybe I have a tree that produces particularly large Chandlers. And, of course, climate has a lot to do with it as well. We're in Chandler pummelo country here, they do exceptionally well in our area. Can't wait for July!

Patty S.


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RE: Branch Support Suggestions

I bought several kind of large "S" hooks for chain, and used tubes like conduit to drive in the ground then hook the branch and put the other end in the tube. Helps when cutting grass too.

The buckets though were perfect Patty.


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