Tree Pruning or Tree Training…

Plenty of people relate the pruning of a tree with re-arranging its structure to alter it into a different shape or style. They couldn’t be further from the truth. Modifying the shape of a tree is known as “Tree Training”.

Tree Training is a better option to create a different shape for your tree. Pruning should only be used to help prevent disease, slanting, and to stimulate healthier fruit growth.

Tree Pruning should also be used to preserve the appropriate shape for the tree. Let’s say that for example your tree has a big amount of branches on one side; pruning will be beneficial by getting rid of unnecessary branches, or shortening these branches, which slant the tree to one side.

What is tree pruning?

Pruning a tree should be thought more as a maintenance process rather than altering process. While pruning is very useful when it’s needed, tree training is a more efficient and useful when it comes to shaping a tree.

We can direct a tree to grow into any shape we want just by tying down branches or by propping them up from the ground. This practice is usually implemented during the early days of the tree, to stimulate it to fully grow. By training the tree correctly, you will save either time or money on pruning in the future.

What time of the year does tree training usually takes place?

Generally, tree training occurs during the summer months. Instead of just trimming the branches that are not growing the correct way, try to guide them. The contraptions used to help shape trees can be thought of as orthodontic braces for a tree. These contraptions help pull or push the branches, much the same way orthodontic braces do with teeth, in whichever direction you want them to go. In time these branches will grow naturally in the shape you want them to.

Which shape should you train your tree to grow…

The decision, as to what shape to train your tree, might not come by that easy. There’re plenty of shapes to choose from. While some of these shapes are designated to allow for a high density of trees in an orchard, others might be meant to provide for a high fruit tolerance per tree. Depending on the location of the tree and its predominant function, perhaps you’ll need to search for different types of shapes that will fit your particular situation.

What if you don’t want your tree to grow in a crazy shape…

Training still can be applied to a tree even if you prefer it to grow on its natural shape. There’re times when trees’ branches will grow way too close together that they will either be blocking each other or pushing against each other. Training these branches, to grow on a different path, can prevent the future need of having to prune them.

What’s needed to train a tree?

Some imagination! Plus you’ll need some kind of a brace, which will help you to either push or pull branches. If you want to pull two branches together, you can lash them with rope. Alternatively, if you want to push the two branches apart, you can just place something in between them. Training your tree’s branches together only takes a little imagination in deciding what to use as materials to push or pull things off. We have found that something as simple as a two by four, stakes, or even fences can do miracles.

Whether you are a tree aesthetician and want to turn your trees into different types of crazy shapes, or you just want to enhance the branch placement for more abundant fruit, tree training can be beneficial for you.