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Training and pruning windward branches

Posted by marc5 z5OH (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 28, 12 at 23:49

My orchard is on a fairly windy site. On some trees, especially pears, plums, and vigorous apples, the branches on the windward side curve in toward the middle of the tree. My pears and apples are central leader, stone fruit are open. This curving creates challenges in training and pruning. What do you experienced orchardists do in this situation? Do you tie the branches down and out toward the wind direction? Do you reduce the number of branches on the windward side?

Thanks for ideas.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Training and pruning windward branches

I am not experienced, but I would think tying them down while the branches were still young would be helpful to prevent bending. To try to fix this condition after-the-fact might be a pain in the neck.

Gosh I sure am a lot of help, aren't I. Wish you luck.

RE: Training and pruning windward branches

I also have a site that seems to have a prevailing wind.

On my (in-the-ground 1-2 year) open center stone trees, I pulled down the scaffolds in the direction I would like them to grow. This helped me with decision making before pruning as well. Not wanting to do it all at once or risk snapping a potential scaffold, I'll go out every so often and pull them down a little at a time.

I had scaffolds on 2 Methley plums that were gradually growing back over top of the tree. Looked kind of creepy. They are young enough that I can reverse it by pulling them down.

The apples seem to be doing fine by hanging weights glued to clothespins.

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