View Full Version : pruning. - lots or little or none at all?
24-05-2004, 09:17 PM
hi all.......just wondering about different peoples opinions and experiences with pruning. so far i've come across arguments for both sides, and i know there really can be no general rule - like with everything it seems.
i know keeping fruit trees (for example) trimmed makes them easier to access for picking and usually stresses the tree to provide new growth and higher yields. though it also opens up the chance of attack or infection from pests. allowing them to grow tall provides habitat for natural predators who like to hide high above the ground. we eat the fruit from the bottom, they look after the ones out of reach at the top. tall trees though can get very, very tall and large, and once they're past a certain point can be very difficult or costly to prune or cut down.
i know it depends on the kind of tree and the location and it's ultimate purpose.
so what do you think?
26-05-2004, 12:48 PM
well keeping within the parameters of the permaculture 'the least work for the most output' (productivity) or put another way too much work cuts into the drinking time, i try to do as least as possible in that quarter. never prune things like callistimons etc.,. with fruit trees enough to keep lower branches laden with fruit from hinging on the mulch/ground. and also enought to keep the height down a little and with fruit trees i have heard it si beneficial for fruiting purposed if the center of the tree is kept open so i do that level of pruning. oh i do prune off broken or damaged branches on all trees where possible.
You said it yourself Humus, it depends on the type of tree. Adopting the idea of 'why do it unless there's a reason' is the way I go. Some plants, like boronia, have their lives extended by pruning. Some fruiting plants like passionfruit are supposed to fruit better if pruned at the right time. A lot of other plants seem to just look better if pruned, so if that is a priority, away you go. I think from a permaculture point of view, given that it takes up time you could devote to other tasks, pruning is probably overrated.
27-05-2004, 07:30 PM
speaking of passionfruit, does anyone know the correct way/time to prune? i've heard not to the cut the ends/tips of the vines, as it bleeds and usually ends up causing severe damage. instead, cut the larger feeder vines from the bottom (less overall disturbance), and let any vines past that point die back.
then again, someone the other day said it really makes no difference.
ask 5 different people a question on gardening, and you usually get 6 different answers.
One of my books (Australian) says to prune the mature passionfruit vine annually in spring. Thin out any overcrowded laterals, or side-shoots, and remove dead growth. This will help control diseases and stimulate production of young fruit-bearing growth. Shorten lateral growth to about 40 cm.
The virus disease bullet, or woodiness, can easily be transferred from a diseased to a healthy plant by pruning equipment. Dig up and burn any infected plants.
[And it would follow that you sterilise your pruning equipment beforehand].
I cut back my passionfruit vines really hard... for lots of reasons
but now I think I may have gone too far... is there anythign I can do to help my poor vines?
oh, I live in a sub-tropical region, and hte vines are Panama Red
Richard on Maui
02-10-2005, 04:25 PM
YOu could give them some nice compost and mulch, but I wouldn't worry about having hurt it unless it was really young or something. YOu can cut passionfruits back pretty damn hard and they just seem to love it. I remember being shocked as hell seeing an old Italian neighbour of mine cut his passionfruit back to little stumps before the fruit had even really ripened. He plucked the fruits off, and stuffed the vines in the bin (still shake my head about that part), and I wondered what the heck he was up to. I was a few doors down from him, so far enough away that I never really got to know him. I think he disapproved of my sprawling messy garden. He pruned everything I reckon.
Anyway, his passionfruit came back as hard as ever.
thanks heaps for the reply, it was really good of you
we had a building project in the yard that meant we had to *prune* at probably the wrong time of the year
my vines were my pride and joy... they were so lush
I am really trying to learn how to grow stuff, never having had a green thumb I have been reading everything I can, and trying to get my head around a fruit & vegitable garden
I will keep feeding & watering them and hopefully they will forgive me
02-10-2005, 07:23 PM
i am only a convert to pruning this year actually, and still am a bit wary due to increased avenue for disease as previously mentioned. i have a small time nursery and have been discovering that pruning can compensate for a number of sins! we don't use pesticides and hate to see anything (even a $2 plant) die, so pruning is often the last option for a sick pot plant. given water and shade, and a little time, its surprising how many recover.
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