7/7/14 @ 2:57 PM
I have a small oak to prune about 15 feet tall . It is a bit too close to the road and is starting to overhang . I know that normally oaks should not be pruned this time of year to prevent wilt . Besides the overhang the village will be picking up branches soon . Can a tree wound spray be used to allow this ? Thanks .
3/19/16 @ 2:26 PM
1/17/16 @ 4:05 PM
1/17/16 @ 3:54 PM
Thanks for all of the comments. I did lower the crown and I like it that way as getting at the high fruit was a chore. I will trim all or at least most of the water shoots. I'll do it before it buds out and see if I can get at cutting off any new shoots as they form. I do not like the idea of mulching apple trees. Would it harm the tree to use Round up around it? I was surprised to hear the suggestion of many pounds of fertilizer. What I have been doing in using a large bar to make about ten hole around the drip line and putting a cup or so of 10-10-10 in each hole each spring. The tree is a long way from a water sourse. This seem to work well as I had good size apples until the tree go to top heavy. Lund
1/17/16 @ 12:54 PM
Tree wrap will help with the rodents. Not sure how mulch would increase your insects. I've never noticed mulched trees getting more apple scab than unmulched ones, and I've sprayed and trimmed thousands of fruit trees professionally. I would advise raking and removing fallen leaves on fall so infected leaves don't release spores in spring. We might just have to agree to disagree here.
1/17/16 @ 12:29 PM
Well, he better spray if he takes the mulching advice. Will need to control the insects and fungus. Mulch makes sense with basic tree care, just not with apple trees. I dont go to a lot of orchards, but none of the apple trees at the orchards i visit or drive past have mulch. They all have bare ground or at least try to keep it that way. Ive asked growers and one of WI top apple experts and they all say to never mulch an apple tree. And put some hardware cloth around the base, mulch is a nice winter home for rodents that love to chew on apple tree bark.
I do completely agree with the main question of this post...cut all the water shoots.
1/17/16 @ 10:45 AM
As far as pruning goes, you can remove all the upright suckers, but be prepared to do it every year. If you don't do it every year the suckers will get out of control. You could also just remove 2/3 of them and let the tree go to a more upright form. The low form is easier for harvest and spraying (if that is something you do).
1/17/16 @ 10:35 AM
Listen to the post by CDs. He is right, mulch is the way to go. It will lock in moisture and will decompose into a natural fertilizer as well as cut down on the weeds under the tree. What specific insect or disease does mulch encourage? Fertilizer is really only needed if there is a deficiency. Trees in good soil don't need much help. After working as a certified arborist for ten years, I will say that fertilizer is the easiest sell for high profit margins and is often only marginally helpful.
1/17/16 @ 9:17 AM
We will agree to disagree on fertilizer. Maybe agree on the P. Give the tree the energy it needs. The mulch encourages disease and infestations of insects and rodents. Might be OK for some trees, but certainly not for aoples. In fact, most apple growers actually kill all vegetation to the drip line and leave the ground bare. The Wisconsin state Ag specialist stressed this point at the apple tree grafting seminar in Wisconsin Rapids a few years ago.
1/16/16 @ 2:57 PM
I would cut most of the central shoots at the collar. The more peripheral ones. Can be pruned by 1/3 of length. I would also take a shovel and wedge open the ground and put a pound of 10-10-10 in 4-5 spots around the drip line this spring too. Water shoots need to be pruned a lot every year. I would not encourage upward growth.
1/16/16 @ 2:49 PM
That shape is nice for growing apples. Many old orchard trees look like that. Makes harvest and spraying easier. I agree that topping a tree or removing the crown can be damaging, but it looks like that has been done already. Those water shoots will not have fruit buds.