Renovating a Mature Fruit Tree - Part 1
Do you have a mature, neglected fruit tree in your yard and you're not sure what to do with it? Well here's the good news is you can renovate it and start enjoying that heirloom fruit again, watch our video and Tricia will show you how.
Questions to ask yourself before startingBefore you begin you'll need to decide if the tree is worth saving.
- Does it produce fruit that you enjoyed eating or would you rather replace it with another variety?
- Does it have a sound trunk that is free from rot?
- Is it plagued by fire blight, scab or other diseases?
- What type of fruit tree is in need of renovating?
First year of restorationFirst Step - cut off any dead wood or branches and this can be done anytime of year but in the summer it's a little bit easier see which branches are dead and which ones are alive. You also want to cut any suckers off growing from the bottom of the trunk or up from the ground. Almost time to really get started pruning. Second Step - should be done during the winter (best before bud break). Before you begin reshaping and resizing your tree step back and assess what you have to work with and how you want it to look in a few years... when you're finished with the restoration. You might want to mark the branches you want to keep with weather resistant tags so you won't get carried away or forget the plan later in the process. In the first year you will focus on removing up to one-third of the branches.
What branches get removed?
- Remove branches that give too much height to the tree
- Remove branches that are growing downwards or in towards the trunk
- You should also remove the crossing and rubbing branches
- Remove any water sprouts that have grown in the upper level of the canopy
- Thin out smaller branches to increase air circulation and sunlight
ResourcesPhytophthora Root and Crown Rot in the Garden Gummosis of Fruit Trees Pruning - A Special Case - Renovating Old Fruit Trees