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Beginner Gardening Questions: Tree pruning Question

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Serramarra
Cuyahoga Heights, OH

March 31, 2013
3:16 PM

Post #9467850

I planted a pink cascade weeping peach tree about a year ago and when I got it the top branch was leaning to the side I left it in but was wondering should I cut off the top branch that is leaning to the left? Will it affect the growth of the tree.There are smaller branches under it.


Thanks in advance,
Serramarra

Thumbnail by Serramarra   Thumbnail by Serramarra   Thumbnail by Serramarra   Thumbnail by Serramarra
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Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 31, 2013
4:30 PM

Post #9467902

I think I would trim the upper branches so they are a bit more in balance with the size of the smaller branches growing the other way.
Overall, keep the weeping tree symmetrical so the end result is an umbrella.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

April 2, 2013
4:39 PM

Post #9470079

Looks like a very young tree still, so I would be careful re pruning, What I would do is, remove all the weeds growing around the base of the tree about foot and half, this is because when trees are young, they really don't need any competition from weeds / plants so close as the weeds / plants will be able to take up any moisture or feed when given.

The wire frame that is in picture needs to be taken further back from the tree also as the branches will be knocked about hitting this structure which in turn causes damage to the tender branches, this might allow disease to set into the bark or under the bark which can cause the branches to die back.

Is there any way you could stick a better support other than the cane you have as I could be wrong but it doesn't appear to be doing much supporting and probably adding to the branches being rubbed, once you add the new wooden support then use a tie in a figure eight around the support and then around the trunk, this will allow room for the trunk to expand but help prevent the tree being moved in the wind, this movement can cause the roots become lose IF it happens all the time.
Don't know IF it helps you any but a good way to help water the roots of a young plant / tree is to insert a clear plastic juice container into a hole dug about 6 inches from the trunk, place the upturned container narrow end down, (Cut the bottom off the container) back fill the soil around this container and every time you water, you just fill up the container a few times and this helps the water to go straight to the roots instead of running of the top soil, this is also a good way to add a feed when needed, it can be added while watering.

Good luck. WeeNel.
Serramarra
Cuyahoga Heights, OH

April 4, 2013
2:40 PM

Post #9471970


Thank you :) I am implementing all these suggestions.


[quote="WeeNel"]Looks like a very young tree still, so I would be careful re pruning, What I would do is, remove all the weeds growing around the base of the tree about foot and half, this is because when trees are young, they really don't need any competition from weeds / plants so close as the weeds / plants will be able to take up any moisture or feed when given.

The wire frame that is in picture needs to be taken further back from the tree also as the branches will be knocked about hitting this structure which in turn causes damage to the tender branches, this might allow disease to set into the bark or under the bark which can cause the branches to die back.

Is there any way you could stick a better support other than the cane you have as I could be wrong but it doesn't appear to be doing much supporting and probably adding to the branches being rubbed, once you add the new wooden support then use a tie in a figure eight around the support and then around the trunk, this will allow room for the trunk to expand but help prevent the tree being moved in the wind, this movement can cause the roots become lose IF it happens all the time.
Don't know IF it helps you any but a good way to help water the roots of a young plant / tree is to insert a clear plastic juice container into a hole dug about 6 inches from the trunk, place the upturned container narrow end down, (Cut the bottom off the container) back fill the soil around this container and every time you water, you just fill up the container a few times and this helps the water to go straight to the roots instead of running of the top soil, this is also a good way to add a feed when needed, it can be added while watering.

Good luck. WeeNel.[/quote]

Serramarra
Cuyahoga Heights, OH

April 4, 2013
2:41 PM

Post #9471972

[quote="Diana_K"]I think I would trim the upper branches so they are a bit more in balance with the size of the smaller branches growing the other way.
Overall, keep the weeping tree symmetrical so the end result is an umbrella. [/quote]

Thank you Diana!! I will try to clip them a bit smaller.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 13, 2013
7:18 PM

Post #9483026

Serra,

This may be my opportunity to repay a lot of good advice members have given me about growing tomatoes and such. I operated a large ornamental tree Nursery in Idaho, and grew several varieties of weeping cherries, birch, and others.

I had to figure out a proper pruning method to avoid them falling over to one side like a rag mop.

This may be too large a subject to discuss in detail on the open forum, but you are welcome to email me for more detail.

The basic reason a tree weeps in the first place is the center leader just grows too fast and is too weak to support itself. So, it is necessary to keep it staked until it reaches four or five feet tall, and then at a point where you have balanced branches coming out of three or four sides, you should remove the central leader. In the pictures you posted, the third picture is the only possibility you have to make a nicely balanced tree.

Then, those branches will also be too weak to support all the growth they make in one year, so as they grow out sideways, when they begin to sag under their own weight, perhaps a foot, more or less from the trunk, they should be pruned close to a bud that is growing on top of the branch. This accomplishes two things. It allows the branch to harden so it will not sag from next years growth, and it starts the next stage of growth on an upward path. You keep repeating that pattern, and as the tree grows out, the branches will take a rather gull wing shape,

You can increase the height by saving upward growing branches near the center, but prune them to remove weight when they start to sag.

I do not have any pictures showing what i did in the early stages, but i will post a few of larger trees to show you what to shoot for.

With normal trees, bracing and propping serves many good purposes, but the wood you are working with is just too weak for props to correct the problem.

You can also influence the amount of weeping by increasing nitrogen for more growth and weeping effect, or reduce nitrogen for less growth and stronger wood.

I need to do some research to find the proper pictures so i will send this off and then post a follow up with the pictures.

Ernie

Ernie
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 13, 2013
7:41 PM

Post #9483073

Serra,

I dug through the picture files, and will post a few weeping trees that will give you an idea of what to shoot for. It may take a while to get the growth where you want it, but any growth that does not fit your idea of what it should look like should be removed.

Since i can only see thumbnail pix of what i posted, i will send these, then review the full size pictures, and may provide some detailed comments if i feel it will help you.

Ernie

Thumbnail by ERNIECOPP   Thumbnail by ERNIECOPP   Thumbnail by ERNIECOPP   Thumbnail by ERNIECOPP   Thumbnail by ERNIECOPP
Click an image for an enlarged view.

ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 13, 2013
7:47 PM

Post #9483084

Serra,

In the bare Birch trees, one side branch is larger than the others, but that is a branch. The central leaders have all been cut out, but sometimes a branch on one side is a year or two older than the opposing branch.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have. I had 30 thousand trees there, on a five year rotation, but the Weepers were favorites of mine.

Ernie

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