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Pruning / Trimming - Roots??  RSS feed

 
Posts: 11
Location: flatlands IT
chicken forest garden trees
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I've been reading up about pruning fruit trees and have been trying to revive some very neglected plum and apple trees etc but am new to this metier.  When I picked up 10 bare root trees last Sunday at an heirloom nursery I was told to be sure to prune/trim the roots quite a bit before planting.  That was news to me.  These are free hanging bare roots, not a bundled rootb ball or container-bound roots.  Does anyone have knowledge about pruning/shortening roots??  These trees are 2 years old, one year after graft though a couple are "franc" -- or "seedling."

Another quandry: central leader or open vase pruning?  My young trees are apple, cherry, plum and apricot.  Some apples and a cherry have standard rootstock or franc, the rest are all semi-standard (M111) or dwarf (colt)

Thanks so much for any ideas or advice.  
 
Posts: 83
Location: Fair Play, Northern California
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The experts usually advise a bare root whip ought to have roots that are in balance with the trunk and branches.

If your whips were pruned quite a bit when they left the nursery, the roots should be trimmed back also, according to this philosophy.  The nursery will snip off branches and the leader but I've never had them offer to trim the roots, although I think they will if you ask.  Perhaps they think it's best if the roots get trimmed in the minutes before the tree is planted.  That way there is less chance of the roots drying out.

Me, I've never trimmed the roots of my bare root trees, unless they are broken.
 
Abelia Frutteto
Posts: 11
Location: flatlands IT
chicken forest garden trees
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Thanks Jane. 

These people should be experts; they've been in the business over 3 generations and almost 100 years.  They said to soak the trees for a couple of hours right before planting and trim before putting the roots in the ground.  Thanks for the advicie.

Do you prune to central leader or open bowl shape?  What type of trees have you got?
 
Jane Reed
Posts: 83
Location: Fair Play, Northern California
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I have apple, cherry, peach, and pear.  I have pruned them all to have an open center and when I first planted them I cut the whip as low as I could, given the placement of existing branches.  I don't want trees so tall that I need a ladder to harvest fruit.
 
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