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  • Pruning young trees to promote main stem??

    I have some first year trees that are starting to branch. I want as much energy as possible to go into the main stem for future purposes. Is it beneficial to prune side growth early in year one to get thicker more substantial main stems?
    Wishlist- kadota, LSU purple, ronde de Bordeaux, VdB, Willing to pay!! PM me. Beaumont Texas zone 9

  • #2
    Hey there,
    You’re correct, in order to establish a thick and sturdy main trunk, the ideal is to pinch off forming branches in the first year to encourage one (or possibly two) central leaders. Then head off at the desired height for branching in year two during winter.
    Mike, MA Zone 6a
    wishlist: Angelito!
    A good tree clearing service for central Massachusetts...


    • Badgerferrit
      Badgerferrit commented
      Editing a comment
      Perfect thanks, I’m an avid gardener but new to figs. That’s what made sense but I wanted to be sure.

  • #3
    The "main stem" should be staked and trained fully vertical, removing side branches and buds is only necessary if they slow the growth of the main stem apex.
    The side buds and branches will usually slow or stop growing when the apex is staked and trained, but their leaves will still provide energy for plant growth... Good luck.
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


    • #4
      When I train single trunk trees, I make sure that the tree maintains a central leader from the very beginning. Cut any other competing strong branches, but leave all other side branches to grow on their own. I'll only stake the tree if it can't stay straight due to the weight of heavy leaves. All the small side shoots and leaf growth provides all the nutrients for the tree to develop strong roots and strong trunk the first year. Remove all sucker plants.

      At beginning of next season, head the tree at the height you desire. Then develop a strong scaffolding structure.

      The form is very important for single trunk structure. Fruiting is only secondary. This training scheme is about the same as training other single trunk fruit trees.

      Here is a very good resource for single trunk fruit tree training. Not much different over the first one or two years. Container fig trees are typically trained as either modified central leader, or open center forms.

      Princeton, New Jersey, 6B
      flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/red-sun/albums
      http://growingfruit.org/ for all fruits


      • Badgerferrit
        Badgerferrit commented
        Editing a comment
        I’m planning to espalier the trees with at least 2 levels after moving them into the ground. Planning to have them planted within the next few weeks with a typical first frost date around mid to late November.

    • #5
      Badgerferrit If you haven't already read it, I take a look at the excellent information on training cuttings (8.e.) and tree pruning (8.a.) in the Frequently Referenced Topics - https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...erenced-topics
      “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
      – Source Unknown
      MA 5b/6a


      • Badgerferrit
        Badgerferrit commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, I read a lot of it, but didn’t read those sections. I’m kind of slamming so much fig info down my throat the last few weeks that I’m struggling to remember additional parts of resources I didn’t read because I didn’t need that info that very moment.

      • ginamcd
        ginamcd commented
        Editing a comment
        The beauty of the FRT sticky is that it's always there to refer back to. I read and re-read the pruning thread probably a dozen times or more, but it wasn't until I stood in front of my naked, dormant trees that first year with a pruning saw in my hand that it started to make sense.