Make the most of win­ter prun­ing

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING -

To open up a dense tree with­out loos­ing its shape, mark a few branches at dif­fer­ent lev­els for re­moval.

If us­ing a saw, re­mem­ber the weight of larger branches will cause split­ting down the trunk.

So, make an un­der­cut a cen­time­tre or two under the branch di­rectly be­low where the full cut from above will be done, or find a way of sup­port­ing the weight of the branch.

To pre­vent rots, dis­eases and pests, seal the cuts as soon as pos­si­ble with acrylic paint mixed with a few scoops of Wallys Sul­phur Pow­der, and a spray of Wallys Liq­uid Cop­per and Rain­gard.

The best time to re­move cit­rus branches is in win­ter, now be­tween crops. The worst time is in sum­mer when cit­rus tree borer is on the wing.

With roses and most other fruit trees, sil­ver-leaf dis­ease can en­ter the cuts, so never prune on a cool/cold damp day – go for sunny and dry.

Prune to tidy climb­ing roses, but to spread them along a fence, tie some branches back to the fence as in es­palier­ing for the climber’s frame­work.

Mod­ern bush roses come into two cat­e­gories, hy­brid tea and flori­bunda.

For prun­ing hy­brid tea bushes, cut to one or more out­ward facing buds on good canes to ide­ally form a cham­pagne glass shape. On flori­bunda, cut down to a few buds facing in­wards and out­wards to form a vase like dis­play of blooms.

Ei­ther: Cut bush and stan­dard rose canes to half their size, re­move spindly and dead wood and spray what is left, in­clud­ing the soil un­der­neath, with lime sul­phur to burn off any re­main­ing leaves, kill dis­ease spores and any in­sect pests with a fi­nal prune about the end of July.

Or: Cut back the canes and spray with potas­sium per­man­ganate, later prune and re-spray . When fo­liage ap­pears, add Rain­gard to the spray.

It’s sim­i­lar for fruit trees – es­pe­cially stone fruit for curly leaf.

There are am­ple in­ter­net di­a­grams and de­scrip­tions for prun­ing fruit trees. The ob­jec­tive is to tidy, re­move dead wood, and re­duce the num­ber of branches so the re­main­ing ones pro­duce big­ger bet­ter fruit.

Problems ring me at 0800 466464 (Palmer­ston North 357 0606) Email wal­lyjr@gar­de­ Web site www.gar­de­

Prun­ing needn’t cause any stress if a few sim­ple whys and where­fores are kept in mind.

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