- Posted By: Amy Breschini
- Written by: Ann Dozier
July Advice to Grow By
By Ann Dozier
Are you tired of climbing ladders to reach the crop on your fruit trees? How can you keep backyard fruit trees at an easy to care for height? How should you shape young trees?
Summer pruning is an easy and convenient method of controlling the growth of backyard fruit trees. Some advocates of this kind of pruning recommend keeping fruit trees at a height of around 12 feet which allows for ease of care and harvesting. Pruning of rampant spring growth also allows light and air to reach lower branches. This improved air circulation may reduce disease, and additional light can help promote lower growing fruit.
In comparison to traditional winter pruning, pruning when there is fruit on the tree serves to thin an overabundant crop. It also makes apparent on what age wood the tree sets fruit (one, two or three year old wood, e.g.) Keeping trees at a smaller size makes available nutrients more likely to be used for fruit production rather than foliage.
This coming Saturday, July 16, you can attend a free presentation on summer pruning given by Master Gardeners at their Seven Sisters demonstration garden, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, from 10 AM until noon. Demonstrations of pruning the garden’s young trees (which have been planted with two or three varieties in one hole) will take place. Master Gardeners will also talk about more traditional winter pruning and give pointers for reducing size of older trees. Come prepared with sunscreen, water and hats and bring a folding chair if possible.
For more information on summer pruning, check out the website of Dave Wilson Nursery, http://www.davewilson.com/homegrown/BOC_explained.html. Basic information on pruning and on shaping of neglected fruit trees can be found on:
Got a Gardening Question?
Contact the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners: at 781-5939 from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday and Thursday; at 473-7190 from 10 a.m. to noon in Arroyo Grande; and at 434-4105 from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday in Templeton. Visit the UCCE Master Gardeners Web site at groups.ucanr.org/slomg/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Author: Amy Breschini
Join the Master Gardeners every 3rd
Saturday for the "Advice To Grow By"
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Planting and Pruning
Bare Root Fruit Trees
2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo
Please park in the adjacent parking lot. The first half of the workshop will take place in the auditorium (maximum occupancy 68). The second half of the workshop will be a demonstration in the orchard. Please wear appropriate shoes for walking on sloping, uneven and mulched surfaces. It will be a standing demonstration. Wheel-chair accessible viewing will be from the garden path.
Planting Bare Root Fruit Trees
By George Frisch
Planting new, young fruit tree can be rewarding or disappointing. Rewards come from properly planting and caring for the trees. Disappointment ordinarily follows when you don’t. Here are a few helpful tips.
Although fruit trees may be planted any time, they are often planted during our winter months when many varieties of dormant bare root trees are available. The best trees have a trunk diameter from ½ to 5/8 inch, and usually become established faster than smaller or larger planting stock.
When possible, buy locally so you can inspect the roots. Select saplings whose roots are plump, moist, firm and radiate in an even pattern from the stem. Pack the roots loosely in moist sawdust, burlap, shredded bark or similar material for transit and until planting. Planting within 48 hours after purchase is best. Don’t let the roots dry out.
Pick a sunny spot, at least 6 hours of full sun each day. When planting young trees, use the same native soil that was excavated from the planting hole. Commercial soil amendments are generally not recommended since they may impede root adaptation to the native soil. Compost may be added but use it as a top dressing. Don’t put fertilizer in the hole since it can “burn” the tender roots.
Pay attention to where the roots meet the trunk and the color suddenly changes to a darker grey or brown, this is where the trunk begins. When you have finished planting, this “crown” junction between the root and the trunk should be about 2” to 3” higher than the soil level outside the now-filled hole to account for anticipated settling. The soil should slope away from the crown to drain away water, so preventing crown rot. The “knee” junction where the scion graft was made should face away from the wind. To prevent sunburn, paint the trunk with a half-and-half solution of white interior latex paint and water.. For the “hows” of hole digging and planting, please refer to Fruit Trees: Planting and Care of Young Trees, U.C. ANR publication 8048 or go to http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/.
May you enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Click on the underlined titles below
for more information and printable handouts:
Information on Training and Pruning Fruit Trees (printable)
Summer Pruning and Multiple Trees in One Hole (Dave Wilson's Nursery)/span>