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Growing fruit trees tutorial, this video will show you how to prune apple trees part 1/2.
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How to Prune Apple Trees Part 1/2
Good Morning, I’m Stephen Hayes of Fruitwise Heritage Apples. We’re based in Durley which is in Old Hampshire, Old England and we’re filming right now in our orchard, well, one of the sections in our orchard.
We have about 800 trees here of all sorts eating for apples, cookers, and side of fruit. And this is the first of the several tutorials on pruning. How to prune apple trees, something very necessary to give a tree a balance with their optimum growth and fruiting.
So often not very badly, there are many books on the subject, many different styles of pruning. I’m going to show you the style of pruning that I’ve been using in this orchard for the last 15 years or so.
And the first tutorial looks at the structure of the tree which you need to understand before you understand why you’re pruning, to understand what you’re trying to achieve with pruning. You’ll do it much better then if you simply follow formula for the book.
This is a tree with variety of Sunset which is a mid-season eating apple. More details about what the apple is like, if these are for growing or not growing it. It can be found on the web site, fruitwise.net.
We’re going to the basic structure of the tree. Here’s a trunk okay which is about 2 feet tall and coming out of the trunk are basically four main branches and these have got smaller branches growing out of them and they tape it down to the twigs where the fruit actually is going on.
Now, let’s just take a look at the tree here more closely. This is some of last years wood. This is a thin bit of wood that grew away from this point. That’s the 2007 wood here. Now, this is the 2006 wood. It’s a little bit older. This is a year older and it’s got fruit buds on it. Can you see these buds here which are quite large?
These are some smaller buds on last years fruit, so if you’re focusing perfectly. The small buds which we aggressively used an extension growth-more growth will come out from here in 2008 hopefully. But these are much bigger buds and these will produce flowers which if pollinated by bees and other flying insects, they will lead to apples being produced.
And further back this is a 2005 wood, 2007, 2006, 2005, this is a 3-year old wood here and you’ve got fruit spurs which have got systems of them, of fruiting potential and there’s a fruit bud on the end of it. So you’ve got older wood to a new wood. This year’s wood and then the coming year, more wood would have grown out.
Now, the purpose of the pruning is to get the tree in balance. Each year, the apple tree should produce three things, just to go over it again. A new growth, fruit buds on last years and older growth and on almost fruit buds which are formed in previous year’s fruit. So each year, you want new growth, a new bud being produced and actual fruit being produced on a mature tree.
The purpose of pruning basically is to remove wood carefully in order to maintain the tree in balance. Now, we’ll look one of the two pruning cuts I’ve made on this tree that has been pruned and just been taken out there, clean with a saw and the saw is more important than the secateurs.
Again, note that the center of the tree is open. I’m just going to throw my hat through the center of that tree and you can see that there is plenty of space. You can throw your hat through the tree. That’s an old saying and it’s true. The tree is kept open-centered in this case. So, there are other ways of growing a tree with the open-centered toward bush has stood the test of time for a century and this is probably the most sensible way of growing a tree.
The next video we’ll look at out of this side which pruning cuts you should make.