[NAFEX] Freeze damage pruning question

dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com
Sat Apr 28 10:05:20 EDT 2007


Just received this article from University of Illinois that I though might be useful to those asking about pruning:

Pruning Peach Trees that Have Lost Their Crop

Should you prune peach trees that have lost their fruits to the freeze? There is very little hard data on this subject, but knowing a little

bit about tree physiology, I strongly recommend that you do not compromise pruning just because the tree does not have fruits.

Pruning serves many purposes, including maintaining a balance between roots and vegetative growth. Most importantly, pruning

allows light penetration into the canopy for maximum photosynthesis. Adequate photosynthesis is needed for flower bud formation in

early summer. Also, if you do not prune the trees, chances are you will end up with a tangled mess the following winter. Summer

pruning should also be used in nonbearing trees. Summer pruning encourages more flower bud formation. However, do not severely

prune non bearing trees. Studies on citrus showed that severely pruned trees produce smaller fruits and lower return bloom. Only

early spring nitrogen application should be eliminated in non bearing trees (and of course it's too late now for that decision), but fall

nitrogen application should not be eliminated.

Mosbah Kushad (217-244-5691; kushad at uiuc.edu)



It is from the Illinois Fruit and Vegetable News that can be found at  http://www.ipm.uiuc.edu/ifvn/index.html.  Most of the current issue deals witht he freeze over easter weekend.

Dennis Norton
Royal Oak Farm Orchard
http://www.royaloakfarmorchard.com
http://www.theorchardkeeper.blogspot.com
http://www.revivalhymn.com
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers 
  Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 7:29 PM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Freeze damage pruning question


  You will need to prune any of your fruit trees where the current year's fruit buds will be on previous year's wood.  If you don't promote any new growth for this year, you may be short on buds next year.  

  Dennis Norton
  Royal Oak Farm Orchard
  http://www.royaloakfarmorchard.com
  http://www.theorchardkeeper.blogspot.com
  http://www.revivalhymn.com
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Deb Schneider 
    To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org 
    Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 12:17 PM
    Subject: [NAFEX] Freeze damage pruning question


    Beginning to see what survived our warm weather then freeze.  The pear trees have dead leaves, but the tips of branches are leafing out.  Cherries and peach look fine, though the crop is for sure gone as they were in bloom when it froze.  The pluot looked totally dead, but it is beginning to leaf out low on the branches.

    Should I do any pruning at this point?   I hate to prune the pears when they are showing some growth, but am worried that the dead leaves below the greening parts might introduce fireblight?  I think it would be alright to prune back the pluots.. anyone have thoughts?

    Also, should I fertilize these damaged plants?

    deb
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