VIDEO: Late Summer Pruning the High Density OrchardPosted on : September 28, 2018
In this episode, Beverly Welch is joined by Angela Chandler of The Garden Academy. This is the third in the series of videos on pruning, focusing on Late Summer pruning.
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– [Beverly] Hi, welcome. I’m Beverly Welch at the Arbor Gate in Tomball, Texas. Joined today by Angela Chandler of the Garden Academy, our partner in education, and as you all know, this is the third in the series of videos we’ve done with our little high-density planting here.
– [Angela] Yes, Beverly. This is our late summer pruning and the goals of our late summer pruning are to reduce vigor a little bit, which is one of our major size control issues [[00:00:30]] in our high-density planting. So we can keep the trees low, just enough vigor to push new leaves and flowers for next season but everything will still be in reach.
– Well, I’m ready.
– We’re ready.
– Okay, let’s go. What are we looking for? Now, on this branch in particular, you said just a light haircut?
– We are. What we’re looking for is just to get things down to about five feet. It’s kind of think like a crew cut. So we’re really not concerned about any interior pruning right now. [[00:01:00]] We just want to sort of take off some of the leaves and maybe get it to where we’re in that five-foot range.
– Then, at our dormant pruning again in late winter, we’ll worry more then about doing some thinning so that we can equalize our fruit set.
– Now, is there anything specific we’re looking for on some of these branches?
– We do want to kind of make sure that we’re staying out in this vigorous new growth that hasn’t had a chance to set any fruit buds because all of that would come off next spring in our regular pruning, anyway.
– How would I know which ones are my fruiting?
– You can see here that there are buds [[00:01:30]] along this. Some of them are leaf buds and some of them are potential fruit buds that will start swelling for us in late winter. So when we see those buds, we want to make sure that we sort of preserve those. We may remove some in our late winter pruning, but right now we just want to kind of leave them and we can make that decision at that time.
– Okay, perfect. So we’re just going to do a general, overall cleaning?
– Just a haircut is all we’re looking for.
– Bring them down to about five feet.
– To about five, maybe six feet.
– Which is the purpose of our high-density space.
– It is. So that everything stays within reach.
– Perfect. [[00:02:00]] All right, well let’s go to work.
– Now, what about on a big branch like this, Angela? I have a big sturdy branch that’s showing some bud wood.
– Yes. Actually, next spring we’re going to come back to here to remove it and allow this one to be our dominant branch. So right now, just tip them back. It may look a little [[00:02:30]] off balance but it won’t by the time we get through next winter.
– Okay, perfect.
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So we cut a significant amount of foliage off these trees.
– We did, Beverly. We cut at least three feet off and all of our next year’s fruit is now in reach.
– Oh, that’s perfect. So we do this [[00:03:00]] to control our size, which is the purpose of high-density, right?
– That’s correct. It helps us control vigor and it will help us balance how much fruit load we have next year.
– And we weren’t particularly careful.
– No, it’s just a quick haircut. Literally.
– Oh, that was perfect. Well, you know, for those of you that have been watching these videos and keeping up with our little high-density planting here and saw us plant these trees right at the beginning and promptly cut them off at knee deep, well, you know, we had a lot of emails saying, “You just killed those trees.” [[00:03:30]]
– They were very concerned.
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Written by The Arbor Gate
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