[NAFEX] Summer Pruning
S & E Hills
ehills7408 at wowway.com
Thu Oct 4 07:17:32 EDT 2007
I wish I had a solution. I also have an illinios everbearing that grows too
vigorously, it seems, for summer pruning to keep in check. Unrestrained
growth seems to quickly reach 10-12 feet or more (and this is all over the
tree). Mine is now in its 4th year and its trunk is easily 2+ inches in
diameter (and thickest branches are probably 2/3 - 3/4ths that size) I've
trimmed 4 times this summer, with most recent pruning about 2 weeks ago. As
I am not near its hardiness limits I am less fearful of pruning later in the
summer (though I am now done for the season). I figure if any new growth
dies back it will only serve to restrain overall growth.
I did figure out that leaving a 1 to 1 1/2 stub (without buds) does seem to
prevent as rampant of growth, but I'm careful to watch for problems in
leaving that much wood to die back when I make pruning cuts.
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of William C. Garthright
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 11:06 AM
To: NAFEX List
Subject: [NAFEX] Summer Pruning
If we learn from our mistakes, I should be the smartest man in the world
As a newcomer to fruit trees - or pretty much any planting - I browsed
the Internet for information, and some sites suggest that any tree can
be kept small - kept to any size, they say - with summer pruning. I
don't have much room (considering how much I want to plant), and I don't
need much fruit of any one kind at one time, so I've tried to plant
dwarf trees. But sometimes, that hasn't been possible, and I'd hoped to
use summer pruning to keep things in check.
Unfortunately, I haven't found this to be as easy as advertised. In
particular, I'm having a problem with my two-year-old Toka plum (though
my Illinois Everbearing Mulberry, just planted this spring, is going to
be at least as bad). This tree is extremely vigorous and just wants to
grow and grow. The branches tend to get very long, and turn to grow
straight up at the ends. If I cut the ends off with summer pruning, that
hardly seems to slow them up. They quickly sprout out a ton of shoots
just below the pruned cut, and all of them grow just as rapidly, so much
that the added weight at the end is too heavy for the branch to hold up.
(And if I cut them off closer to the trunk, I just get a mass of shoots
every which way.)
I understand why cutting off the tip of a branch encourages it to sprout
new growth,... but that's what summer pruning IS, isn't it? How do I
slow this whole process down a bit? I'm ending up with a tree that looks
terrible, and STILL grows too big.
Perhaps I'm not cutting back often enough? If I cut off the tip, then
when it starts to branch out, cut it off again, below all the shoots?
Almost all of the branching seems to occur at the very end. On the other
hand, it's horribly hot and dry here in the summer, and I hate to be
pruning trees under those conditions (both for my sake and the tree's
sake). And I was told that, in this climate, I really need to stop
pruning by mid-summer, so that the new growth can harden off before
winter. So, was I just too gullible to believe all that about summer
pruning in the first place?
Any comments? I am learning, but... not as quickly as I'd wish.
Lincoln, NE (zone 5)
Much of what has gone disastrously wrong in American policy, especially
foreign policy, in recent years can be attributed to a reliance on blind
faith rather than evidence. - Susan Jacoby
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