Do I prune back 7/8" seckels?

Do I prune back 6’ tall 7/8" grade seckels that arrived? Nice roots on ohf84, read that they are slow growers. It was pretty topped with no branches, so I was thinking of selecting spaced branches with proper or trainable angles. Am I Ok or should I retop to 4’…

How do you plan on training it?


pictures would help.

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As a general rule, when whips arrive pre-pruned for the spring I let them go. The growers who pruned it should have pruned it correctly. Those do look awfully leggy, though. I’d be tempted to knock them back a little more.

I think so too. Back to a fat north side bud. Ill be spending extra time shaping these, eliminating any disadvantaged branches. Thanks

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Prune it back to where you want your first scaffolds. I think you’ll have a mighty tall trunk unpruned, unless that’s what you want. In my yard I leave the trunk a lot higher because they will double as shade trees. In the orchards a lot lower to facilitate work.

Thank you for your comments. It’s a lot of nice wood on some of the trees, so I will try to keep most height. They will be pruned back, north bud, an d look to encourage the scaffolds at 30", space them 8" apart, bend to grow as desired and should have an instant tree. For unwanted branches, I’m considering successively summer pruning, Lorette method to encourage latent fruiting buds and boursons, but may be too much work:)

It is traditional to cut back fruit trees before planting because of the theory that it balances the top with the roots that have been pretty much wrecked by being dug up. Carl Whitcomb did research on a few species of trees that indicated that this was often not helpful, at least with the species he was studying.

An employee of a commercial fruit tree nursery once told me that he knew of a case in the south where an entire commercial planting of pear trees died for lack of pruning at transplant, but the man was no scientist and it was not a controlled study.

In the 30 years I’ve run my nursery, I’ve usually left the pear whips alone- I don’t ever get any the size you describe anymore in my orders from ACN. The only pruning I do is to encourage a straight tree which means removing oversized side branches, certainly more than half the diameter of the trunk of my leader. That is usually not required of my pear whips whose side growth is almost always miniscule.

I don’t cut back side branches the first season either, except for peaches. The more leaves a tree grows as soon as possible, the more energy it will have to grow new roots. Branches contain stored energy.

Peaches are the only species I’ve read of that have been shown to be capable of being larger the next year after more wood was removed than less. This is likely because they produce so many flower buds along side vegetative buds, even their first year.

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Thanks Alan