New to the forum and growing Pluerry in addition to nectaplum, nectarine, citrus! Ive got a Sweet Treat and Candy Heart that are just starting to take off but with most growth at the top and very little branching at the lower end. I haven’t pruned them back yet because I watched a video (youtube rabbithole) about delaying the initial heading cut but cant remember why or when. Should I cut back now with the idea that the growth will direct to laterals or wait til ?
Welcome to the forum.There are different answers to your question.
Some,like in that video,say it’s okay to wait,which is fine.Others recommend cutting a new tree,about knee high.
Personally,if my new tree has multiple branches when purchased,I’ll pick about 3-4,that are apart a bit and pointing in different directions,then cut off above them.
With your tree(s),it’s probably okay to cut some top growth off.It also depends on your vision of what they are to look like.
So I could cut down partway, and then do another header cut if I get more laterals? I would have cut to knee high if there had been any branches, but the lower branches that are there are at least waist to shoulder highish. Guess Im just feeling shy about cutting almost all the growth off.
Are you planning to keep them in pots or plant in the ground? It’s better to determine now how high these should grow and cut back to that height. Also it’s an appropriate time to spread those upper scaffolds to train to a stronger structure. If you plan to plant them in the ground then perhaps they are not requiring much heading back.
They are staying in pots. Id like to keep them @ 8-10 ft. As far as training the scaffolds, do people buy something or just cut some lumber?
I cut all of mine back to 30-36 inches at planting and cut back all remaining branches to short stubs. That way you get vigorous growth down low and can chose what you want to keep. Especially in a pot you want a low tree.
Right now in the second picture I’d cut back to about even with the corner of the house. That would be just above the second whorl of branches. Then at this point leave the remaining branches as they are.
I usually just use twist ties to fasten a straight stick from the central leader out to where I want the limb to be and tie it there. No need to buy anything.