May 31, 2014
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Due to the abundant rainfall in May and warm temperatures, for many people in the UK, growth is too strong in trained trees.
Photo courtesy of rhs.org.uk
If your trees are growing in a limited space and are showing strong extension growth and producing numerous shoots surplus to requirement, it may be just as well to slow the growth down now, rather than having to carry out a laborious amount of winter pruning. This will suit the trees well, because in the summer there is less risk of the trees catching infections from different fungi such as silver leaf and various forms of tree canker.
The particular method of containing surplus growth that I describe here is nothing new. It has been well documented and carried out by tree specialists already a long time ago in many countries all over the world.
If your trees are growing in pots or containers or are being trained along a fence or wall and are tending to outgrow the allotted space, then it is worth considering to perform summer pruning now. Perhaps it would be better to refer to this particular form of tree training as young shoot pinching. Regrowth will occur, but the time needed to do this job is minimal. All that is involved is the cutting or pinching back of young forming shoots to the 3 or 5 leaf stage depending on variety fruit type and strength of shoot growth. If carried out well, it may increase fruit bud formation on the 2 year old wood in the space available. However to achieve this effect, make sure lots of light is available. Strong shade will reduce fruitbud formation and therefore surplus shoot growth reduction may not be fully attained.
Where to cut the young, growing shoots
Shoot pinching – the operation
Cutting the young shoot back to the 3-5 leaf stage
The young shoot has been cut back to the 3-5 leaf stage
The objective is to slow growth now (early June) and encourage fruit bud formation
May 11, 2014
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If you have recently planted some trees, they need special care, particularly now as we are moving towards summer. Here are some tips:
1) Trees should be watered regularly. Do not be deceived by the odd shower. Young trees need readily-available moisture in the rooting zone, to be able to establish a strong healthy root system.
2) Weeds and grass around the trunk of the trees are a real setback for the trees at this stage.
3) Greenfly and caterpillar are munching away on the young newly formed leaves. Do not let this situation get out of hand.
4) Young trees will do well with extra foliar feed during the period May to August.
5) This is also the time to reduce the number of fruitlets on freshly planted trees. Too many fruitlets will take away the energy needed to create healthy shoot growth and root growth.
Read our month-by-month fruit tree care calendar.