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Pruning Trees

Don't forget for Pruning Trees it is prudent to follow this advice:

- Only prune very young shoots which cicatrize well in 2 or 3 years,

- Respect the equilibrium of the shape of the tree,

- Prune at the correct time at the very beginning of the spring ( March April) for best cicatrization (which is not the case in the winter).

Pruning for shape which has been started by the nurseryman must sometimes be prolonged to a short period of 2 to 5 years. Take no account of the type of flowering times.
Following the natural form of the tree always keep the central axis (main trunk) which must keep its predominance over the other branches. Prune the weak shoots at the base of the trunk up to the height of trunk without branches desired (crown height). Prune in such a way as to assure the arrangement of the main branches (the framework) in a spiral around the trunk. Cut those which are too close to one another (parallel).

If you start with a young plant or seeds, allow the main shoot and lateral branches to develop during two or three years. The lateral branches serve to raise the sap and contribute to the vigor of the tree, and notably for the thickening of the trunk. Certain species develop in clumps ( hazel nut trees, laurel, judas trees, summer lilacs...) The first year, select the strongest shoot, and cut off all the others. Support and leave your plant to grow for two to three years.
Then start the shape formation described above, taking care not to take off too much foliage at a time so as not to weaken your future tree too much.

The following years, maintain regular pruning:

- Cut out dead or sick wood,

- Cut out branches growing towards the centre,

- Cut off suckers (vertical shoots)to leave the central axis dominant

- Take off, if necessary, suckers ( off the roots at the base of the trunk).

It is important to maintain a certain balance in the branch development of the crown so as not to alter the form at the top of the tree.

Attention: A bad pruning is often more harmful to trees than having no maintenance. Change your perspective regularly before and during pruning, so as to see the tree from all angles.

M. Denis RETOURNARD
Pépinières PLANFOR
RD 651
40090 UCHACQ - FRANCE
Tel : (020).7660.0178
Fax : 0033 558 064 854