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Espalier apple pruning  RSS feed

 
Amy Leeworthy
Posts: 2
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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This is my first attempt at an espaliered tree. I'm just wondering if I should rub the buds of on the vertical stem as I don't want branches to grow there. Or wait and prune them one they have grown a bit. Any advice would be great!
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Leila Rich
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Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Not very clear in this photo, but I've let all the buds grow, whether on the trunk, or branches.
I prune them off fairly short, and they grow a lot of fruiting spurs.
I also find that many of the buds are spur/fruiting buds and won't grow into branches anyway.
An espalier has very little wood compared to a 'normal' tree, and I try to leave as much fruiting wood on as I can!

*edit* a couple of unsolicited comments on the pot...
Is the tree on very dwarfing rootstock? If not, I imagine you'll need to repot.
I'd also be careful about what looks like a metal pot?
It could get really hot in there, and while there's plants that enjoy hot feet, apples aint one of them.
 
Amy Leeworthy
Posts: 2
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Hi Leila,

Thanks so much for your reply it was really helpful! I will let the shoots grow. Is there a better time of year to prune them back if they grow into branches?

Re: the pot, I'm renting which is why I decided to pot it. I might make a bigger wooden planter though to let it grow as it's not a dwarf tree. Thanks again for your tips I'm learning a lot!
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I do basically all my pruning in late summer, which reduces the tree's vigour.
Winter pruning tends to promote growth and I want my trees to be as small as possible!
Your tree isn't likely to need any pruning this season unless it puts on a real growth spurt.
My general rule is to prune any shoots that grow from the trunk or main branches off just below the next espalier wire.
Re the pot: I suggest when the weather starts getting hot, maybe wrap something white around the pot to reflect heat off it?
I often paint plastic pots white for this reason, but your pot's a bit pretty for that
I lived in Melbourne, it was boiling in summer.
 
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