summer pruning

Steve Diver steved at
Tue Sep 1 16:29:58 EDT 1998

Here are some quick thoughs.  The horticulture literature
has good info on summer pruning should you need it.

Dormant pruning stimulates vigorous branching and growth
Summer pruning dampens growth  

Thus, there are times when one method may be 
preferred over the other.  If the tree is too vigorous, 
you can summer prune to hold growth back a bit.  

By and large, however, late winter (dormant pruning) is a 
perfect time to be out in the orchard pruning trees.  It is a 
refreshing experience to be working outdoors once again.  And 
from a practical viewpoint, there are fewer things demanding
your attention as a commercial farmer at that time of
year than during the busy summer months.   For the 
home orchardist, the labor allocation does not matter
that much.  But to a commercial orchardist, summer
pruning would only be done on the most sophisticated
orchards where the physiological benefits of summer pruning 
warrant hiring on extra labor to do the summer pruning
while the regular labor is picking and packing and weeding and 

O'zark Mountain rule of thumb on Summer Pruning:  

Summer prune if you are bored and you got nothing
better to do.  Even sitting on the porch and picking a 
guitar would be better.  If you can get your friends over
for a jam session and make up songs about picking apples
and green beans, that is even better.  

Steve Diver

> 	I'd like to hear (read) some comments on summer (non-dormant season)
> pruning of fruit trees and berry bushes.  I live in the Pacific NW and have
> recently heard strong arguements in favor of summer pruning for the
> following two reasons:  reduces transpiration of tree thus increasing
> drought tolerance, & decreases the potential for disease as less vectors
> are prevalent during non-rainy months.  
> 	Can anyone lend credibility to either of these points?

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