Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pruning Fruit Trees with Pete Churgel-2/5/14

Today we were back at Edna Maguire Elementary School in Mill Valley.  Pete Churgel repeated few times that for fruit trees the strategy is not to prune for aesthetics, but rather to reduce height and open the center.  He advised to cut to a side branch even when the side branch is less than 1/3 of the main branch.  He also mentioned that in very healthy trees we can remove more than a 1/3 of the branches.

 Team Donna, Rod & Sherrie 

Our strategy for the Asian Pear was simply to reduce the height, let in sun at the center and reduce the yr old growth by 3/4ths. 

 Angella and Susan
We believe ours was an Asian pear. Our primary goal was to give the tree a strong structural shape without removing too much material allat once. We began by clearing and leveling about 6-9 inches of soil burying the root flare. removing the suckers growing at/below the graft line, opening up the center to let light in which was done by removing two large branches originating from the main trunk and lowering the height of the tree top which had about 1-2 feet of 1 year growth sprouts.


Team Emily, Laura, and Linda
We removed suckers first.  Then removed a big branch going into the center.  Pete advised us to reduce height to a side branch even when smaller than a third.  It was not aesthetic we were going after, but fruit production and open center.  He advised us to leave the shaded side taller than the sun side.  There were many dead small twigs we removed, maybe signs of blight (Katherine advised us to cut them below the dead parts, at a healthy spot).  The tree was either an apple or a pear.


Strategy for this vigorous vines was to leave only few canes and cut most branches leaving 2/3 shoots.  Plants will grow several feet of new growth every year.

Same for kiwis, remove most growth, leave few canes, cut to leave just few studs.


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