I recently moved into a new house with what I believe is an apple tree. It
looks like the two major trunks were cut back at 7 foot a few years ago, but
since then a number of major branches have started from there and shot
straight up an additional 10 or more feet. I am reluctant to cut them off
because they are now a big part of the tree, but I certainly will not be
climbing that high to get the fruit!
I also don't want to get too radical in case I misidentified the tree...
I would not invest a lot of time until you get some fruit off this
It's possibly an apple which you won't like. If height is a problem for
you, best to pull out what sounds like a full size tree, and replace it
with a dwarf, or at least a semi-dwarf tree. What you now have is a
tree with a large root structure that is trying to balance itself by
putting out abundant above ground growth.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Brian) wrote in message
While I mostly agree with Sherwin, in case you end up liking the
apples from the tree, there are tools to harvest tall trees. Basically
a very long pole with a mechanical hand at the top. Also, if they shot
straight up, this thing could be a pear tree.
email@example.com (simy1) wrote in message
Well, I don't like pears, anyways...
I might just cut the branches going straight up and hope that the
lateral branches strengthen rather than new straight up branches
sprouting. I guess I will not do much beyond that yet...
I've been told that you aren't supposed to remove more than 1/3 of the tree
per year during pruning. Take some of the uprights, dead wood, and the ones
growing down. In addition, branches that if left alone, will rub on another
branch that you want to keep, remove or cut back.
The kinds of growth that shoot straight up from a branch below are
commonly called waterspouts.
They result when a tree is trying to put out growth very quickly. This
can occur if one overdoes
the spring pruning, or in the case in question, a major cut down
occurred. A tree like this with
a very large root structure cannot easily be shortened by pruning. It
is trying it's hardest to
balance the top growth, as I mentioned before. I think Brian has the
right idea to prune off
the waterspouts, and try and develop the outgrowing branches. By the
way, waterspouts are not
peculiar to pear trees, you get them on apple and stone fruit trees, as
I asked a similar question in an email list. I got a reply from someone
who resurrected some old neglected trees over a span of three years.
Essentially, you start by knocking off all the branches that go straight
up or straight down. Also, keep the new growth that goes straight up
Send email to ray drou at quixnet dot net and I'll see if I can get
permission to forward it to you.
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