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Pruning Apricots, Almonds, Quinces, Pears

Pruning Apricots

APRICOTS MUST BE PRUNED IN SUMMER AT THE END OF THEIR FRUITING TIME.

- Se1ect old wood and prune and space branches to allow an even penetration of sunlight to all parts of the fruiting crop. - The long ‘whip' branches that grow during the summer are the frui-producing wood for the coming year - The fruiting spurs are borne on one year old branches. They appear towards the end or in the middle of the one year and older branches and they are the fattest and the fullest buds in the bud cluster. All the long, narrow buds are leaf buds. They have a tendency to gradually lower each year from the weight of the fruit and the foliage. These branches will be replaced with growth from the inside of the tree. - Because apricot wood is brittle it is wise to not let any one branch grow too long. Erect growth is best, even if this means sacrificing some early fruit production. Encourage fruiting spurs by removing the tips of the new side shoots when they are about 7cm long. Usually in late spring. This will cause more shoots to grow and these can be shortened back to one leaf. - Paint all cuts with pruning paste.

Pruning Pears

Pears fruit best on two and three-year-old wood, so do not prune back side shoots shorter that about 60cm long. A modified central leader is the best approach.Apart from removing any odd looking fruit or thinning a branch that is too heavy, little pruning is required - a light trim, summer and winter, to keep the tree open and stop branches rubbing against each other is all that is needed.

Pruning Quinces

Not much pruning required for these wonderful trees except when they get too dense and overcrowded and the branches do not let light into the centre of the tree. Best to opt for an open, vase shape, but light pruning and the creation of an umbrella shape is best. Remove any diseased or damaged branches. Remove suckers that appear from the main trunk below the branches.

Pruning Almonds

The idea with Almond trees is to establish a really good shape so that it will not need major pruning once it is established. Almonds fruit on spurs that last about five years. For best nut production, prune the oldest fruiting wood 1/5 each winter while the tree is dormant.If the tree has not been properly shaped when young, Almond trees can survive a drastic cut back and if a significant amount of fruiting spurs are still on the tree, you will still get a crop. If not, cut back by 1/3 some of the long new shoots (that are likely the result of this drastic pruning) to encourage new fruiting spurs to develop. If fruiting spurs are very old (10-15 years) they should be cut off to encourage new spurs which will yield more fruitBranches should be spaced to provide good air circulation and not cross each other. They should branch off each other at wide v-angles (a very narrow v-angle tends to split off in age). The tree should be balanced. Most mature Almonds need little pruning annually, so once this tree gets 'stabilized' it should do well on it own for some time with only minimal intervention.

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Wairere Nursery
826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email:     Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm