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Limb Spreading

Posted by Peter Drevniok 
Limb Spreading
October 01, 2015 10:16PM
I fell behind in my limb spreading. The trees were planted this spring (2015). Some trees still do not have any spreaders. The ones that do
were done only a month ago (tied down with twine with bricks on the ground). I understand that limb spreaders should be removed in
autumn but what is the harm if I leave them over winter - and even continue to tie down some branches at this time ?

Peter Drevniok
Wakefield , Quebec zone 5
Re: Limb Spreading
October 14, 2015 07:37AM
Most limb spreaders wouldn't harm a tree if you left them in there til doomsday. However, any tying with wire or twine means girdling (this coming from a seasoned girdling pro).

Furthering the discussion, I tie them down all year long, as it is often not a priority most days. When the limb is in place, cell development will help lock it in place, so earlier in the season of course makes sense. A bent piece of wood will always maintain the shape to an extent. Since it is positioned, remember next spring/summer growth with help lock it in. It goes without saying that after leaf drop it is a whole lot easier to see what you are doing, and post pruning even easier.

Two things: Cold usually means brittle, so be careful with pushing things too far (pears are the worst). Twisting branches as you bend them will help prevent snapping them. This latter phenomenon is how basketmakers and medieval fencemakers made the turns.

Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard
Zone 3 in Vermont
Re: Limb Spreading
October 17, 2018 08:24PM
I plan this winter to do my first spreading of tree branches. After much research, string and bricks or stakes seem like a good way forward apart from the mower obstruction in the lanes. I have seen 12" paint stir sticks for want of a better description, V notched that look quite good. And also the red plastic ones. in various lengths. However I have a bunch of stainless steel 10" wall ties left over from a construction project. it looks like if I bash either end to a rounded 45 degree angle and then use a couple of wraps of grafting tape to hold them till the 4th of July (old wives tale) it might work a charm and be fully reusable indefinitely? I also thought to cut and grind either end of the ties to a tooth pick style point and just set them that way but do not want to risk skewering a juvenile branch like a kebab if the wind rocks them too much. I need afast, simple, repeatable commercially viable method. What do you good folks do on a commercial scale?

Ger Bartle
Kinsale
Ireland
Re: Limb Spreading
March 30, 2019 12:30AM
I do tie-downs for training big trees and leave in place for a year. have not noticed anything detrimental to doing so. I use a thlick braided nylon rope for larger branches, and do a wide loop so no worries of constricting anything, or abrasion due to using something too narrow in diameter.

Tom Kleffman
currently building a fruit orchard from scratch on the Bayfield Peninsula of Wisconsin, 4 miles south of Lake Superior, dead center of the snow belt, zone 5.
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