Proper healing of branches

I’m not the type to over prune and in many cases practice the leave alone policy. Once in awhile there is a branch that’s crossing another, diseased, growing at a narrow angle etc. that must be removed. The seasoned fruit grower knows to trim above the collar of the branch but few new growers know this or why to do it. These are a few pictures from the orchard of branches properly healing I took this morning. Eventually the wound completely closes and you might not be able to see it was ever done. If the branch is cut to far from the collar of the branch the tree won’t heal or if it’s cut to short it won’t heal.


Great tip. I’m trying to prune the way you do but years of doing it the wrong way has been a hard habit to break.

1 Like

Don’t be to hard on yourself for past mistakes. Those mistakes are in the rear view mirror as far as I’m concerned and I wouldn’t look back at them. You’ve grown some great fruit and that does not happen by accident. I’m likely making a mistake right now I don’t even realize yet. The only people that make mistakes are those of us who actually do something.


Think of mistakes as a learning experience, the more you learn, the fewer problems you encounter in the future. The less money you’ll spend too!

Clark, PM me sometime if we might exchange some scions. thanks.


Well, technically, I believe the second photo shows the cut was too close at the base- at least Shigo suggests that healing should occur evenly all the way around with a proper cut.

Not that nearly all my cuts heal this way- just saying. I actually think that one can get carried away about perfect pruning cuts- flush cuts were used for probably hundreds of years and usually only took longer to close without causing structural weakness, but there is certainly nothing wrong with trying to follow current guidelines- it is what I TRY to do.

Most commercial orchards I’ve been to have lots of butcher cuts and trees don’t seem to suffer much for it.

1 Like

It’s helpful if they are your own trees like I have because they are easier to manage. I’ve managed them since they were seeds or new rootstocks. When you buy a house with a few existing fruit trees that’s when it can be difficult.

1 Like