Return to the Fruit & Orchards Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Apple fruiting spur, what to prune off?

Posted by konrad___far_north 3..just outside of E (My Page) on
Sun, May 4, 14 at 16:21

Guessing these are fruit spurs, still a bit of a mystery to me in
what to cut and what to leave on.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Apple fruiting spur, what to prune off?

Another


 o
RE: Apple fruiting spur, what to prune off?

To me, the entire tree is spur bound and is not putting out enough vegetative shoots to adequately serve the spurs. What I want to see is one year pencils of vegetative wood amongst the spur wood- upward shoots, usually between 6 and 12 inches long- sometimes longer depending on variety and other things.

I don't have a mathematical formula for how many of these shoots are needed to serve how much spur wood- I should work on that, but I know it when I see it (or at least I have a false confidence that I do).

With a tree like that I'd remove at least half the spur wood and give it some extra N to see if I could get it to grow more vigorously.

Once you get those pencils growing you begin a cycle of them turning fruitful and eliminating older spurs while leaving some new pencils. Some varieties bear the best fruit on two year wood, some three and some are tip bearers. Most of the new varieties bear on very short spurs from two or three year wood.

A tree with too many spurs and not enough pencils tends to be biennial and produce small less flavorful fruit.


 o
RE: Apple fruiting spur, what to prune off?

My Liberty/Frankentree is largely spur-bound, as Harvestman puts it, on the older wood, and I've been thinning the spurs and heading back fairly hard. I guess now I'll give it a little N. What's the best way to do that?


 o
RE: Apple fruiting spur, what to prune off?

Throw a little urea or any quick release source when the trees start to show green and maybe again in late spring. For a small tree you only need about the N. equivalent of what's in a half cup of urea (46% N) for each application- spread away from the trunk to just beyond the drip line. Apply just before or during rain or water it in.


 o
RE: Apple fruiting spur, what to prune off?

Thanks, and good morning to you.

:-)M


 o
RE: Apple fruiting spur, what to prune off?

Thank you HM!

You're right about the low vegetative shoots.

Here is a tree with LOTS! Picture before pruning and picture when done.
Tell me if you could hire me with a little training.


 o
RE: Apple fruiting spur, what to prune off?

Note:
Seems still allot of wood after I'm done but I have to allow a little extra to share for moose.


 o
RE: Apple fruiting spur, what to prune off?

At least the tree isn't spur bound and will quickly generate new shoots. I suggest that next year you leave some of the less vigorous annual wood and let us know if it improves the quality of the fruit.

I came to my way of cycling spurs not based on comparison and personal experience but on how it is often done with free standing trees in huge commercial orchards that hire consultants to train their pruning crews. The pencils are said to feed the developing fruit and if you wait for the development of new ones after pruning all of last year's off you not only don't get much spur replacement but developing fruit has less carbohydrate to work with at crucial early development.

Same general approach applies to pears, but pears as well as some apples can be tricky because most of the new growth is sometimes excessively vigorous and you've almost no moderate vigor new wood to work with.


 o
RE: Apple fruiting spur, what to prune off?

Thanks for your advise HM!


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Fruit & Orchards Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here