Pruning Apple Trees and Pruning Pear Trees

Uploaded by groworganic on 21.12.2012

Hi I'm Tricia an organic gardener, I grow organically for a healthy and safe food
for a clean and sustainable environment
for an enjoyable and rewarding experience
the fruit trees are dormant so its time to prune
today I'm going to prune this apple tree using the central leader training system
there are three main fruit tree training systems
open vase
is wide and short, it takes up the most space but it's the best for fruits like
peaches and nectarines
central leader is tall and thin and takes up the least space
fruits like dwarf apples, pears, apples and Asian pears
like his training system
modified central leader is halfway between the two and it's the best for
persimmon, cherries and apricots.
Anything that likes center leader likes modified central leader
central leader trees
and up looking like a cone or like a Christmas tree
they have one upright trunk and whirl of scaffold branches coming off the leader
these trees may be taller but they fit better in narrow spaces
central leader trees are not recommended for high wind areas or places where
there's fire blight
to start
I'm going to pick the strongest upright shoot to be my leader
and then I'm going to prune any competing shoots
next I'm going to choose my permanent scaffold branches
and then I'm going to label them with this ribbon
the first scaffold branches should come off the tree
from about eighteen to twenty four inches from the ground
look for branches
that are coming off the trunk at a forty five to sixty degree angle
branches that have an angle to the trunk of less than forty five degrees are often
weak and
will break under the load of fruit or snow
each of the scaffolding branches
should be in a different quadrent of the tree and none should be right on top of the
and you want eight to ten inches
between scaffolding branches
if you have a well-placed branch
but it comes off the trunk at less than forty five degrees you can use a spreader to
position it.
I've chosen my scaffolding branches so I'm going to prune the other branches with a
thinning cut
notice the collar that goes around the branch
that's attached to the trunk you want to make your cut as close to the collars as
possible without cutting into the collar you also don't want to cut to far out
because then you'll leave a stub
now I'm going to head back the scaffolding branches to and nice outward facing bud
I'm gonna leave little spurs like this 'cause this likely will bear fruit
head the tree back to about twenty inches
from the highest scaffolding branch
now that I've pruned the tree I'm going to position the branches with spreaders
a simple way
to spread little branches is with a clothes pin
for bigger branches you can use a burlap sling
with a brick or a rock
make a small burlap sling to avoid girdling the branch
attach a piece of twine to your burlap sling
get the desired angle of spread
and then tie it off
to the brick or the rock
the end goal of a central leader tree is to have four tiers of
four branches
the top scaffolds should be shorter than the bottom
and the tree should have a cone or pyramid shape
pruning is easy if you plan ahead so
take care of your trees
train them
and grow organic for life