[nafex] Early pruning

Steve sdw12986 at aol.com
Mon Mar 19 22:24:01 EDT 2012

On 3/18/2012 10:22 PM, Steve wrote:
> On 3/18/2012 2:34 PM, sherwin wrote:
>> On 3/18/2012 12:49 PM, Steve wrote:
>>> I'm thinking of going out and starting my pruning. It may not seem early
>>> to some of you but it's early here. I usually wait until late April when
>>> the chance of real cold weather is mostly over. I just checked and our
>>> normal high and normal low for this date is 37 and 14 degrees F.
>>> Today it's already 70 degrees and the lows for the rest of the week are
>>> in the 40s. I think I'm going to start pruning, at least the apples,
>>> right now, even though it could easily get into the single digits on any
>>> given night for the next 3 or 4 weeks.
>>> Does anyone think this is a mistake? Apples are pretty forgiving but
>>> what about my pears and plums?
>>> Steve in the Adirondacks
>>         Steve,
>>         As far as I know, the main requirement for pruning is that the
>> tree is dormant.
>>         Otherwise, you are going to encourage more growth by pruning an
>> actively
>>         growing tree.  So it all depends on how soon you can get out to
>> prune, weather
>>         permitting.  With all this warm weather, if your trees have
>> already woken up, you
>>         may want to postpone your pruning, or at least limit it.  Cold
>> weather should not
>>         bother a freshly pruned tree.
>>                     Sherwin Dubren in Illinois
> The trees are still pretty dormant, very slight bud enlargement at the
> very most. Actually, summer pruning would encourage less new growth, but
> I'm not really worried about any of that on the apples.
> I was more concerned about a sudden return to very cold weather causing
> extra die back at the pruning cuts. Also some concern about the pruning
> cuts being open longer since there may be no growth to start closing
> them until May.
> Steve

I'm going to add that the high today was 73, the record high for the day 
(until now) was 63, and the record low for this date is 19 below zero. 
Normal low is 15 above zero. It's going to feel like a real insult 
when/if the temperatures return to normal.    Steve

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