I am training a new peach tree and I need to lateralize some of the branches to become my scaffold branches. Now is a good time to do that since there are no leaves and so I can take down my deer netting. The question is, can I train branches in the winter when they are dormant or will they be unaffected by the weight and also if it does work, how long will it take? Most of the limbs are pretty small (1/4" to 1/2")/
Beware of rabbits.
It’s fine to add the weights before they leaf out, but the positions won’t fully solidify until they grow. The new layers of wood will thicken and hold the branches in their new positions through spring and summer.
We don’t have many rabbits and the ones we have haven’t learned how to climb yet.
They strip bark off the main trunk.
I’ll keep an eye out but I think I have only seen one rabbit here in over 10 years and that was in the back yard next to the woods. The deer are a different story.
Takes about one full growing season to fully condition repositioned branches.