[NAFEX]Choosing Scaffold Branches

Del Stubbs northernlights2n at yahoo.com
Tue May 3 09:00:51 EDT 2005

I am just finished with dormant pruning this year ( May 1st 1/3 of my apple varieties
were still dormant - forcast promises above freezing nights tomorrow). The most difficult
pruning choices I find are the important long term decisions of main scaffold branches.
Since mine are mostly on seedling roots, 5-7 years,  I have practiced letting them keep
most branches to feed roots - now it is time to establish the major long term branches. 
I start visually choosing a bottom branch, skip several, pick out next, skip several,
etc......but by the time I get to the top of the tree I can never remember all of  the 6
choices out of, say, 25. A trick that really helped was getting  a handful of clothspins.
I clip onto any branch I picture cutting, visually the unclipped ones stand out and the
clipped ones look 'cut'. Once a set of choices is made it is easy to change to a branch
here or there to see how it all fits. 
Looks like first tree to bloom this spring will be a Pittsen plum, with Trailman Crab
coming next, Del

Del Stubbs  http://www.pinewoodforge.com   zone 3   N. MN

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