Questions not deserving of a whole thread


Hunh. I’m disappointed by that response on your behalf. Oh well, now they know, and perhaps if they get similar calls, they’ll look more closely.


Apple Pruning: Is it good to prune a crow’s foot to just one stem? I keep encountering the same situation: if I prune off all the verticals plus the underneath twigs plus 2 out of 3 at crow’s foot, there’s almost nothing left on the branch. Is this correct?


Yes I think that’s the idea,
Assuming the so called crows foot has narrow angles I just leave one.
Hoping that lateral Spurs will develope along the branch next year.
Some varietys develope a lot of Spurs , on 2-3 yr old wood , others , not so much.
Pruning is as much a "art “as it is a " science” !
And multiple choice , for sure.
There is no “one right way” to prune.
There are some wrong ways.

Try to pay attention to what happens when you do this , or that , and how it affects the growth next year, Each year re evaluating where you cut last year and how it responded.
Each variety responds differently to the same type of pruning .

Maybe I the "next life " we will " about "have it figured out. .?


Thanks. Do you prune a crow’s foot to one stem just to reduce branch congestion? Or to cut out weak crotches? I’ve never understood the reason for pruning out crow’s feet. Mystifies me. I see photos on pruned trees say in Tom Burford’s book and I notice a lot of long, long skinny laterals with very few twigs on them. I keep wondering where will the leaves grow that are needed to support the fruit spurs? 40 leaves per apple? I’m very efficient at pruning off most leaf bearing twigs (verticals, unders, crow’s feet, inward growers). There’s some principle or goal I’m missing about branch pruning that preserves leaf surface but I’m not sure what it is. It should not be a mystery after all these years.


A crows foot I guess by " definition " would have narrow angles.
I try to remove narrow angled branches where ever they occur .
If the angles are wide like a cross I would leave them in general .
This is really to complexe for the written word, even one on one with at tree to demonstrate with, it can be bewildering. ,!

One thing I try to do is balance on each side of scaffold branches.
To prevent twisting by fruit load. So a cross shape at the end and other laterals along branch accomplishes this to some degree


“Long skinny laterals with few twigs on them”

Some people would recommend heading back these " naked " laterals to develop side branching ,
I have found that heading cuts usually results in a "few " strong side shoots.
While leaving them long and uncut often results in many short fruit Spurs developing in the year after, I think this is more desirable .
This is variety dependent .


Thanks. Do you find that the long, skinny uncut laterals eventually put out enough leaves to feed the fruit on that branch even if not headed? This is exactly the info I need, thank you.


Three questions:

  1. I plan to prune my apple trees on Sunday and I marked my branches last night. My trees will be in their second leaf this year. I would like to define my lowest set of scaffolds, but I am finding that trees do not always cooperate with the ideals that I might have. For instance, based on the existing branches, I cannot get 4 scaffold branches with at least 4 inches of vertical distance between each scaffold branch. Do you forsee any problems with keeping 4 imperfect scaffolds this year (some temporary- to be removed/replaced in a year)? Or should I go with 2 or 3 ideally spaced/positioned scaffolds (and a lopsided tree) and hope for new branches to work with next year?

  2. I may try notching the central leader to push some branches in more ideal locations. When should notching be done? Dormant prune, bud swell, etc.?

  3. Many of the recent orchard systems like Solaxe and Tall Spindle appear to not head the central leader at all (at least until they are full size). It is my concern that if I do not head back my central leader then I will not get a sufficient number of laterals to give me the “perfect” scaffolds that I am looking for. Are my concerns warranted, or will my trees have no problems putting out more laterals from the central leader? Thanks!


I have notched the leader around green tip and it works for me about half the time.


No heading


Are you trying to grow a central leader tree or a tall spindle tree? Those 2 growing styles are not the same. If you are going to grow a central leader tree, pick your scaffolds for the lowest level whether that is 3 or 4 and dont worry about it. Very few things in nature are “perfect” whether manipulated by humans or not. I find notching for me to work best just at the time when buds begin to swell. You can invest in Maxcel or Promalin to increase buds that turn into shoots, but if you have a small number of trees it is not likely worth the cost.


I almost did not post those questions, because I asked myself the same question (which I did not answer) just before I hit send. In reality, I am building central leaders with some attributes (like bending branches) similar to tall spindles and solaxe.


Anyone know an online source to get 10 and 15 gallon nursery plastic pots cheap? The places I am finding seem high when shipping is included…


walmart, lowes and home depot got the best prices for them. if you want so save money get fabric pots. you need to water more but they airprune the roots so they don’t choke out the plants. they have them up to 200gal. on amazon. the white or tan ones don’t heat up with the sun as much and last for years before needing to be replaced.get the ones with handles . they’re easier to move.


I noticed I got millions of baby pill bugs in the yard. I want to start early and fight them before they become adults and make more babies. Any recommendations on how to get rid of them? I normally use DE but it’s not going to work with all this rain.


This is were I get mine:

Also like this from them:[term-name]/kocide-3000-fungicide


Sluggo+ will work on pill bugs and slugs, and is organic IIRC. I use it in my GH and it works pretty well. Nothing seems to be a 100% solution for long, but sluggo+ does a pretty good job.


i use DE around my berry plants . it does the trick for bugs and slugs. sluggo works good but gets expensive if you have a lot of slugs which we have.


Adding grapes this year. Had canadice and himrod at the old house. In 3 years I never got one berry. Vines grew well and flowered but never got fruit. I spur pruned them. Not sure if that was part of the problem or if squirrels/birds were.

I bought a flame seedless this year because my 5 year old made me LOL. I read many different things that say either spur or cordon prune. Does flame care either way?



I thought spur pruning was cordon pruning, cane pruning certainly would not be cordon pruning, you remove 2nd year canes every year. a cordon is never removed.