Caring for new trees - growth under tree guard

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danchamp
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:01 am

Caring for new trees - growth under tree guard

Post by danchamp »

Hello from sunny Scotland, new member here just joined and very happy to have found the forum.

We've recently planted an apple orchard and I'd be grateful if someone could give me some advice on caring for these new trees. The photo attached shows one of our trees (a Sunset, MM106) which is just coming into leaf.

Should we be doing anything with the growth that's occurring lower down the tree beneath the guard? Is this guard too long for this tree?

Any advice gratefully received. :)

Dan
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Chuck Rhode
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: Caring for new trees - growth under tree guard

Post by Chuck Rhode »

danchamp wrote:Should we be doing anything with the growth that's occurring lower down the tree beneath the guard? Is this guard too long for this tree?
It's hard for me to tell from the picture because it's difficult to get an idea of the scale. Generally hobbyists want the lower branches to start 18 inches to 24 inches off the ground. Your rodent guard should the be less than that. Pinch off all growth below that. There appears to be a sucker coming up from below the graft union. Definitely get rid of that.

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danchamp
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:01 am

Re: Caring for new trees - growth under tree guard

Post by danchamp »

Thanks Chuck, that's very helpful. That's a 60cm guard in the photo so I think we'll trim them by 6 inches or so. And the suspect sucker is ground elder - it's hard to see from the photo - but we'll keep an eye out for any genuine suckers.

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PA_Docent
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:07 am
Location: Glen Rock, PA United States

Re: Caring for new trees - growth under tree guard

Post by PA_Docent »

I used chicken wire with holes big enough for new branches to poke through, however small enough to prevent rodent access. Ifs the branches grow larger before I take down my chicken wire, I can cut the area around the branch to make the opening larger. Hope this helps.
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