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Cutting Back versus Tying Down

Posted by Peter Drevniok 
Cutting Back versus Tying Down
June 26, 2021 03:53AM
This is what I have learned recently.
I visited a fellow orchardist. I told him how I bend branches with clothes pins etc and later with with string or twine if things get out of hand.
He said: " who has time for that? Just prune back to a branch that that is pointing downwards." And all of a sudden (more or less) pruning made sense to me - pertaining to over all tree structure. There really is no need for bending or tying down limbs . I will be sacrificing apples next year and cutting back limbs to a downward position.

Peter Drevniok
Wakefield, Qc zone 4b

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2021 02:33AM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Rambling on Pruning
June 28, 2021 10:16PM
Tying down and pruning give two different physiological responses. And depending on the objective of your decision (tying or pruning), you will want to choose one or the other or both (usually both). Pruning removes growing points and, depending on timing, invariably invigorates the tree, even though you may be pruning to a recumbent branch. Tying down however doesn't remove any growing points, doesn't invigorate and only weakens the tree appropriately to encourage flowering/fruiting. Now, there is a difference between pruning and excessive pruning; and tying down and excessive tying. But I have never failed to get a tree to slow down its vegetative growth and shift to a fruiting phase by using a combination of light pruning and tying down, esp in higher density orchards; or just tying down.

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
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