Training branches

I did some work training branches today. Here’s my lazy way of doing it.

Ugly but does the trick. In the summer I put clothespins on new growth to pull that down. I’ve come to terms with my neighbors thinking I’m nuts for having rocks hanging off the trees!


Tell 'em you’re growing stone fruit. Make sure you keep a straight face while you do. :wink:


Haha! I like it!

Well, I haven’t tried rocks yet but I’ve got all kinds of ugly with strings strung to different destinations! There/s an old GI gas can filled with water that anchors some of them and a spot on the fence that serves for another.

We can tidy up once the branches git their larning.


I use rocks, too, because we have so many of them. I dare not hang them for fear that they could turn into missiles in strong wind. With my luck, they could just drop right

on my feet!

Muddy, love your clever advice re. Stone fruit.

My neighbors think I am nuts esp. when they see me in a full hazmat gear for spraying.


So neat and manicured! Looks great!!! :grinning:

Wow mamuang- that is a very tidy look. I do the same thing as you with rocks, but my yard looks like a construction site (always) in progress, compared to an estate maintained by a team of gardeners.

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Very neat and organized fruit trees there, Mamuang. I love the tall trees in the back, gives enough privacy!


Thanks, Mrs. G., Bob and Tom.

It was in the spring and the lawn was just mowed. So, it looked nicer than it really is.


How they do it in Zambia. Notice the combination of spreader sticks, rocks, etc. Toothpicks are now our preferred method.


I saw a photo @applenut posted on another thread showing a toothpick pushing the tiny limb into the correct position. It was the first time I realized that I was waiting way to long to correct the direction of the growth. I whittled a “toothpick” and tried it on a sucker that had a bud just long enough to push over and it worked perfect.

When i tried the toothpick method the wind, birds etc dislodged it constantly. I gave up on it. I probably was doing it wrong.

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I took a small twig with a fork in it, I sharpened one end and let the fork hold the other. We are having a very windy day here today so it should be a good test, lol.

The toothpick is stabbed into both the sprout and the bark, it takes a lot to dislodge it of done deep enough.


I prefer spreaders whenever possible, recently pruned branches are my usual source since they are readily available and free, plus they match the tree and are therefore less conspicuous. However, I keep most of my trees pruned to open centers and often have trouble finding branches to prop the spreader against so I resort to tent stakes and rope with a piece of nylon stocking on the end tied to the branch so as not to rub the bark off. I’ll have to give the rock idea a try, it looks like it would be easier to re-position them if they aren’t exactly in the right spot.
I can already picture my wife rolling her eyes again when she sees this new trick I learned. Thanks for the idea mamuang!