Retired UT extension agent Mike Dennison prunes two nectarine trees. The first one is young. Mike demonstrated how to give the tree its first pruning and open up the center. He cuts the central leader just above the first set of scaffold limbs. This cut will drastically reduce fruit production for the first few years but will shape the tree and make it more productive in the long run. The second tree is about ten years old and is much larger. Mike cuts several large limbs off of the tree in order to open up access to the center of the tree to help in spraying, thinning, and picking later in the year. He also removes any dead or damaged branches, hanger-downers” or branches below the waist, and crossing branches. He removes water sprouts or branches that are growing straight up which do not produce fruit and take nutrients from the tree. He prunes off branches that are above the height he can reach from the ground. For safety reasons he does not want to have to use a ladder to maintain the tree. Finally he thins out the small twigs to make the tree less congested. The tree will see reduced production this year but will be much better off in the long run.
Click below for other Family Plot videos on fruit tree pruning:
Pruning Apple Trees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCzkAblH_lA
Basics of Fruit Tree Pruning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eizc9DZTs9E
Pruning Figs: https://youtu.be/kIyv8h20paQ
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