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Summer pruning.  Timing: June to August. 

Why summer prune? All trees can benefit from summer pruning, especially mature trees. Summer pruning achieves 4 primary goals.

1) summer pruning can limit and control tree height on trees that have already achieved desired height.
2) on young trees, summer pruning is used to define tree form and strengthen primary branches
3) summer pruning encourages faster formation of fruit buds, our ultimate goal. 
4) manage laterals to maximize productivity. 

Winter pruning. Timing: January to late-April

Why winter prune? All trees can benefit from winter pruning, but it is vitally important for young trees. Winter pruning achieves 2 primary goals.

1) winter pruning cuts are strongly stimulating, and essential for young trees years 1 through 3 to establish and define a strong tree form. 
2) winter pruning channels the resources of the tree into the branches we want to grow, conserving energy that it would otherwise waste on growth that would be pruned off later. 

Pruning in any season can be used to remove dead and damaged wood, to thin unwanted growth and shape tree form. 

Image by Veronika Diegel


Consultation for New Plantings
Timing: before mid-April of the planting year
I recommend choosing bare root fruit trees for new planting, so the timing of consultation must be ahead of the bare root tree season of the year in which you want to plant. Bare root trees are typically for sale locally in mid-late March, and can be ordered from online nurseries March-April. If it is past April, you can consult with me to plan for the following year. 

Contact me ahead of bare root season to schedule a a consultation for variety/rootstock selection, site selection, tree spacing, planting technique, etc. 

Where to find bare root trees? North End Organic Nursery is a local source for bare root trees. Online nurseries offer a wide variety of rootstocks and unique varieties. Some examples include One Green World and Raintree Nursery.  

Image by Ekaterina Novitskaya

Custom Grafting

Timing: March through June. Deadline to arrange grafting is late March as scionwood must be ordered ahead of time. 

What is grafting? In established trees, grafting techniques like topworking and frameworking involve cutting back existing branches or trunks and splicing a scion of a new variety into the tree which then re-grows as the new fruit variety. This is much faster than removing an existing tree and planting a new tree of your desired variety. 

Why graft? Here are some of the many reasons to graft

1) you have an existing tree of a variety you despise
2) you have a tree which suffers from disease every year
3) you have an unproductive tree, like an apricot that blooms early and whose blossoms are damaged by frost every spring
4) you want better pollination from having multiple varieties grafted onto one tree
5) you love variety and want to grow as many varieties of fruit as possible
6) you want to grow a variety that is not available at local nurseries
7) you crave fresh, new experiences


Services: Pruning
Image by Elena Mozhvilo

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