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Pruning 101

February 15, 2013 - GrowOrganic
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Do you have shrubs and trees on your property? Then you’ll need pruning tools to keep them trimmed and healthy. When you wander into the pruning tools section of our website or down that aisle in our store, you’ll see a lot of gleaming metal blades. Which pruning tools do you need for your garden? It depends on which size branches you’ll be cutting. Rule of thumb for choosing a pruning tool 1” diameter branch or smaller—pruners 1”-2” diameter branch—loppers 2”+…
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Video Transcript
Hi I'm Tricia an organic gardener. I grow organically for a healthy and safe food supply, for a clean and sustainable environment, for an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Pruning is a skill that every gardener needs.

Today we're going to be going over the basics of training as well as pruning a multi-grafted tree. Some of the basic tools you'll need for pruning: bypass hand pruners I'm using the comfort gel by Corona. Loppers have a long thirty-two inch professional loppers, a saw, a hand saw this is the razor tooth saw and if you have big older trees you may need a pole pruner. Dull tools can hurt your trees this is a handy little tool to have to sharpen your tools for more information on sharpening and cleaning check out our tool care video.

Disinfect your pruners in between each tree and if your cutting any disease branches make sure and disinfect between each cut just use rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol. Today Ill be pruning this multi grafted curl resistant peach and I'll show you which tool to use for each situation. Unlock the pruner and hold it in your hand to where it's comfortable and you have full control. When it's open insert the limb into the open pruner to the innermost point of the throat this is the point where the pruner provides maximum cutting power this is the pivot point. Making sure that the branch is at the throat of the pruner will leverage the cutting power of the pruner and reduce the force on your hand. The further the limb pushes out to the tip of the blade the more force it's gonna take to cut and this can cause injury to you, the tree or the tool. These two handed pruners are great if you lack hand strength or if the branch your cutting is in a tight squeeze too tight for regular loppers. If it doesn't fit or feel comfortable in your hand it's best to use a lopper this gives you increased leverage by using two hands. The rule of thumb for choosing a pruning tool is a one-inch diameter branch or smaller use pruners one inch to two inch branch use the loppers and two inches plus in diameter use the pruning saw. Using the proper size pruner for your hand along with the proper size cutting capacity will make the pruning cut easy now let's talk about the types of cuts you'll use. There's two main types of cuts the thinning cut and the heading cut.

A heading cut shortens the branch by cutting it at a slight angle back to an outward facing bud these types of cuts stimulate a lot of bushy growth and water sprouts, these cuts are used mostly on young trees as well as on peaches and nectarines.

For a thinning cut i'm gonna take out a branch down to another branch that's at least of third of the size of the branch. I'm cutting this type of cut does not stimulate as much growth and is much better for controlling a tree size then heading cuts it's also called a thinning cut when you take a branch off right to the collar. See this little raised part this is the branch collar this is where the tree will heal from it's important to thin a branch back to the collar but don't cut into the branch collar or the cut won't heal right. As you can see I've worked on balancing this tree the trick with multi-grafts is to make sure that one graft doesn't take over the whole tree if you have to take a large branch and it requires you to use a saw you want to also be mindful of the collar and not cut into it. Always use a thinning cut on large branches not a heading cut. To take out a large branch with the poll saw were going to use the three cut method make sure that there's nobody that can get injured when the branch falls down. Starting about a foot from the branch collar saw a third of the way through the branch from the bottom, switch sides and saw the branch completely through from the top of few inches beyond your first cut. See this ridge of bark make your final pruning cut with an equal and opposites slant. Avoid cutting branches that are larger than four inches in diameter if at all possible ideally these large pruning cuts should happen on branches that are one to two inches in diameter. Pruning cuts on branches larger than four inches in diameter can open trees up to decay if you have to use a ladder to prune a large tree make sure and use a three legged orchard ladder these are the safest ladders you can use for pruning trees. If you're uncomfortable climbing ladders or you don't have an orchard ladder I highly recommend that you hire a certified arborist to prune your trees. I'm your friend and friends don't let friends climb ladders alone make sure that you prune when somebody's home. Prune safely keep your trees healthy and grow organic for life!

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Categories: Grape Vines, Wine Grape Vine, Table Grape Vine, Fruit Trees, Apple Trees, Pomegranate Trees, Pluot Trees, Plum Trees, Persimmon Trees, Pear Trees, Peach Trees, Olive Trees, Nectarine Trees, Multi-Graft Trees, Mulberry Trees, Jujube Trees, Fig Trees, Citrus Trees, Cherry Trees, Apricot Trees, Quince Trees, Pruning & Cutting Tools, Pruning Saw, Loppers, Pruners, Homesteading Books, Fruits & Berries, Edible Landscaping, Organic Gardening 101, Urban Gardening & farming


Dennis Lindstrom Says:
Feb 16th, 2013 at 9:06 am

Where can I purchase an Orchard Ladder?

Kelly Says:
Feb 19th, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Hi Dennis, you can buy an orchard ladder right here at groworganic.com:
http://www.groworganic.com/garden-tools/gardening-equipment/orchard-ladder.html

VIVIAN LIU Says:
Sep 24th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

I am living in southern California zone 9 or 10, zip 92618, I have some apple, apricot, cherry,  and pear trees. Is it to late to prune these trees in late September? I just find out that these fruit trees should be prune in June and July.  If I prune them now, would it be not good for the new growth that will be coming out?

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