Pruning Mechanics

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Pruning Mechanics

Post  juniper07 on Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:05 pm

Based on what I had previously learned about the timing and effect of pruning deciduous material, this is new knowledge for me and I thought others may benefit from it. Below is an excerpt from Peter Warren's text on styling a raw Jap. Maple.

This seems like a better option than pruning in early spring (before bud break) because in spring you may be pruning away the potential bud sites. In fall pruning you'll be setting the potential bud sites. I remember seeing Fujikawa san with Owen Reich in one of Bjorn's videos doing a fall pruning and wiring on a maple.


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Re: Pruning Mechanics

Post  juniper07 on Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:12 pm

I'm going to try fall pruning (for the first time) on the below material in my collection... hopefully they'll react well in spring.

- Flowering Quince
- Trident Maple
- Zelkova
- Euonymus Alatus

I know that the 'cusp of leaf drop' will be a tight window of time here in Chicago; so I've to be on top of my schedule.

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pruning

Post  geoffm5eay on Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:36 pm

Pruning in spring and pruning in autumn at leaf drop is for two different reasons. Once the leaves have done their job and are starting to die is the best time to remove and do some pruning. What you do not want to do at this time is to encourage new growth. Pruning in spring will not remove all buds as you will be looking at what you are pruning and leaving buds to grow. Pruning needs to be done during the summer as well, how often depends on the species and particular tree.

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Re: Pruning Mechanics

Post  juniper07 on Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:46 pm

geoffm5eay wrote:Pruning in spring and pruning in autumn at leaf drop is for two different reasons. Once the leaves have done their job and are starting to die is the best time to remove and do some pruning. What you do not want to do at this time is to encourage new growth. Pruning in spring will not remove all buds as you will be looking at what you are pruning and leaving buds to grow. Pruning needs to be done during the summer as well, how often depends on the species and particular tree.

Summer pruning is definitely very effective, but I was comparing fall with spring pruning. And I'm particularly talking about hard pruning as demonstrated by Peter in his book. With hard pruning you'll lose a lot of buds when done in spring; in fall also you'll lose them, but the roots will push bud setting hormones in fall, not spring.

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pruning

Post  geoffm5eay on Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:59 pm

I don't have the book to hand to see what he says. I would never prune hard in spring before bud break, I would wait. I would also be very wary of pruning hard in autumn, I would wait until nearer winter as the last thing I want is for buds to push too soon. This can vary depending on climate, we do not have cold winters any more, only a few frosts each winter.
So I think it is a case of experience of where you live and what climate you have.

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Re: Pruning Mechanics

Post  Marty Weiser on Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:08 am

In the fall I tend to prune as the trees start to slow down. I generally cut back one or sometimes two leaf pairs above the optimal cut point. This for several reasons.
- the tree is more compact when it goes into winter storage
- any remaining growth goes into strengthening the buds. Most into the last buds, but i am going to cut them in the spring.
- it allows for a little winter die back - we see 10F (-12C) most winters and a fair bit cooler in some.
I do the final cut back in the early spring as the tree awakens. However, sometimes I miss that cut which can be good if the outer buds grow strongly so the inner ones grow less strongly and have shorter internodes when I cut back to them. I have not done a good study of this, but it seems to happen sometimes.

Marty

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Re: Pruning Mechanics

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:19 pm

alot of this depends on what type of winter you are facing...

marty - your strategy seems to make sense...

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Re: Pruning Mechanics

Post  augustine on Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:35 pm

I think we can be pretty sure that Fujikawa, Owen and Bjorn will be keeping their nice trees above freezing during the winter. If you prune and let the trees freeze there can be dieback.

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Re: Pruning Mechanics

Post  juniper07 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:39 pm

augustine wrote:I think we can be pretty sure that Fujikawa, Owen and Bjorn will be keeping their nice trees above freezing during the winter. If you prune and let the trees freeze there can be dieback.

Of course, there are certain things implied when talking about pruning in Fall, or even repotting in Fall. You cannot let the plants sit in below freezing temperatures.

For this year, I'll probably stick to light pruning in Fall (and avoid hard-pruning) and see how the plants react in spring. If the results are favorable, then maybe next Fall I'll experiment hard-pruning on a nursery material.

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Re: Pruning Mechanics

Post  M. Frary on Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:19 pm

If you're pruning a tree shouldn't you be familiar with it enough to be able to tell where potential bud sites are? On maples cut between the nodes. You can see them. Especially on Japanese maples.
I hard prune everything in spring. You get a whole season for the tree to recover and you get less die back if not complete death than late fall pruning. Having to ride out winter.

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Re: Pruning Mechanics

Post  appalachianOwl on Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:17 am

Hey yo. I would avoid a hard prune on this time of year, for one reason. A large wound will be left unhealed until the tree is growing again. -Jacob

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