Watch "Pruning Not a Mysterious Art" on YouTube


I prune apple trees every day from mid-July through Sept and have never suffered harmful consequences. I don’t even believe that a flush of new growth necessarily stops the rest of the plant from hardening off. I’ve seen drought followed by late August rain cause considerable late growth on J. plums in my nursery. All that happened is those late growing shoots ended up dying when temps that winter reached -15F. None of the other species I have in my nursery really put out a significant late spurt of growth even though all plants were provided a sudden spurt of nitrogen with having their dry soil suddenly wet again.

When I have time I will watch this thing- I was responding to a list of “important” facts at the beginning of the video. I don’t question it has plenty of useful advice, but fruit growers certainly need stuff more specific to them as species will vary greatly in response to same pruning.

Cornell offers guidelines about pruning apple trees that commercial growers often ignore, doing things like having the picking crews come back after harvest and prune their orchards at what Cornell would call the worst time. There is a sweet spot between academic advice and real world experience. However, when beginners follow academic advice they are likely to avoid disaster more often than if they ignore it.

Oh no, not another endorsement for Felco pruners! Jeez


Thanks for sharing this.

The video was mostly flowering / decorative focused but there is a good section (starts at 43:22) about small trees that’s very informative for general purpose pruning:


Thanks for letting us know haven’t watched the full video yet

1 Like

It’s pruning time once again! It’s on the to-do list.

I watched much of the video, but there was a problem with the spoken comments not being synched with the video examples, and it was very broad - not focused on fruit production.

But it’s a good video with a very experienced, knowledgeable person sharing what he knows and responding to questions, and much of his general discussion was very useful. Thanks for linking it.

Grafting is still a mystery to me. A couple years ago I purchased a dozen apple rootstocks (M111 and G11) and scions. I cut the scions in half and tried t-budding onto my existing apple trees and after 3 months they all died. Only 4 out of 12 rootstocks I grafted via whip & tongue worked and then a deer discover them and munched all of their new growth down and killed them.

Last year I ordered more scion wood and grafted onto the surviving 6 rootstocks from the year before and also tried bark grafting a peach tree a deer girdled and I cut down to 16” tall. The peach scion dried out but a new bud grew out of the existing variety so that all worked out despite my efforts. 5 out of the 6 apple grafts took but 2 died at the graft a couple months later and the remaining 3 were munched down by a deer and only 2 survived.

I just don’t know what I am doing wrong. I did it all in late winter/early spring, I use fire on my knife to sterilize it before each cut, I wrap with wax tape and a string on top of that for additional strength (even used a skewer as a brace a couple times because I know squirrels and birds liked to disturb them) and then I top the whole thing with aluminum foil for 2-3 weeks. The only thing I haven’t tried is the tar/wax/glue to seal the graft.


It says in the middle Paragraph that 5 of 6 took.

So, maybe all that’s missing is venison on the table for supper.

1 Like