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Summer Pruning

Posted by Josh Karp 
Summer Pruning
July 19, 2017 12:32PM
Considering summer pruning (of watersprouts only) this year. Looking for the following benefits:
1. letting in more light into tree interior to help color fruits
2. improving air movement within the tree to help with secondary scab issues (yes, I will admit so having some issues this year!)
3. improving calcium uptake in the developing fruit.

Is #3 actually true, or am I remembering this incorrectly? I'm also looking for advice on timing - i.e. for maximum benefit, does this happen around terminal bud set (early august)? Don't want to stimulate re-growth - so that's why I want to make sure to get the timing right.

To make it worth the trouble, I'm most interested in the calcium benefit (as I've seen some calcium-deficiency issues here & there in recent years) from summer pruning..if such benefit actually exists.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2017 12:33PM by Josh Karp.
Re: Summer Pruning
July 20, 2017 08:26AM
We started pruning the water sprouts this week. I don't know about the calcium issue, but we see it as essential to let light into the canopy so the fruit ripens and colors well, and also to channel the tree's energy into fruit rather than rank vegetative growth. We do some extra fruit thinning in the process. We focus this on red varieties like red delicious and Fuji, rather than ones that ripen green or yellow.

Fruitilicious Farm
Zone 9b in California
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