Neglected brand new orchard

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Neglected brand new orchard

Post by AlienAppleFiend »

Hi -help needed.
It's late August and I've inherited a newly planted Orchard of ten MM1006 and two M25 Apple trees, late ciders/cookers and eaters. All of the trees were bare root planted in February and most were 1 year old trees. Lucky me-However, none were pruned when they were planted. Does this mean they won't established well? I've read that the trees future growth and yield can be seriously effected? The trees were also heavily surrounded by weeds, grass and stinging nettles. I've cleared them, but I'm guessing they've been badly starved in early life. Despite this the trees look ok! Though no shape to them. All but one surving. What's the best way to proceed, in terms of pruning etc, and is they hope of salvaging a tip top high yield orchard for the future- or is it too late for that? I.e start again with new trees? Much appreciated. :)
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:12 pm

Re: Neglected brand new orchard

Post by dmtaylor »

Your orchard should turn out fine. Assuming you are in the northern hemisphere: Hold off on pruning until February or March of next year. At that point, on each tree, remove any branches in the lowest 3 feet of the tree all the way back to the trunk, then tip the central leader to a southwest facing bud. This will promote development of a new whorl of branches within about 6 inches of the tipped top. That's all there really is to it.

Enjoy your orchard. It may be a few years before you get any fruit. Be patient and you'll be rewarded.
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