Pruning My American Elm Bonsai and Fruit Trees in the Orchard, Part 1, The Bonsai Zone, March 2021

Pruning My American Elm Bonsai and Fruit Trees in the Orchard, Part 1

Hi everyone nigel saunders here i had a busy morning in the orchard the focus for today’s session in the orchard was pruning we pruned up all the trees in the orchard pruning them back to size getting rid of all the long branches that grew up and i gave a big talk on you know how to prune pruning for the structure air circulation in the branches ramification and all that kind of basic stuff that we do in bonsai so i’ll show you some footage of today’s morning in the orchard this is nice actually that can come out here and that’ll be a really nice or we can take these and sort of start to grow them out here so there’s still plans there’s still stuff we can work with that is important let’s fill this side out and as we go higher we might have something over here too um that’s something you’re wondering if this guy should come back that’s the artist choice i think yeah maybe to allow for that air in between the two levels what do you think ryan is it rotten that wasn’t dude it’s all wet oh it’s wet so that’s great and we have another steak now that’s it yeah yeah now this forest here um it used to be an ash forest but it’s now been basically replaced by invasive european buckthorn and it usually grows quite scraggy but you will get some nice long shoots and so we because it’s so invasive and it’s unmanaged i feel like we can go in there and cut some nice steaks from it and buckthorn it’s one redeeming trait is that it’s rot resistant and hard so it’s it’s actually it won’t sprout so we’re we’ll probably won’t be cutting the trees down because they’re they’re fairly well established now but they’ve got lots of suckers coming out of them that have then developed so there’s actually a lot of really nice stakes that are above the two by two size and it’s it’s almost like it’s designed for that they’re rot resistant they’re hard and we’ve got an abundance and they’re trees that nobody wants the city would love it so when we prune it during the winter time when they’re dormant it basically has less space to put all of its resources that it’s already stored so it will actually sometimes come back extra vigorous so this isn’t too concerning what’s concerning is when it girdles the roots so trees they have that the cambium layer which is just inside the bark that’s where all the nutrients travel up so if you encircle it if you just took even a half a centimeter band all the way across you would kill the tree because it has nowhere to send its nutrients this we can simply just prune back we don’t want branching this this low so we’ll just take off any branching and this will grow up and it’s been knocked back but there’s nothing we can do about that now but it will still grow and it’ll be do fine and all of its energy that it got last year from growing it’s it has in the roots so this tree will probably take off once it warms up and it’ll be fine do you think that stakes large enough beside it right so the yeah is fine our tree is fine it is just a bit shorter yeah now there is one i think over here we didn’t think was gonna live this one looks dead yeah this is one of the pairs they were dead last year i think yeah okay what happened to that one who knows we had a few pairs and they all died oh they’re so green underwear is there when you scrape don’t seem too alive even if this one was alive we we probably wouldn’t do anything it’s already been topped yeah it’s already encouraged branching and there’s nothing more you would do to that one yeah anyways so and it’s weak so we don’t wouldn’t want to touch it anyways maybe these are raspberries planted in here in between uh maybe it was this one that was already dead all right this is a rabbit one anyone want to take this one on i don’t think there’s much to do is there what is it so there’s the graft yeah so would you just take off this or even just even nothing yeah just leave that one yeah what is it dorothy it is a semi dwarf apple wealthy oh it’s supposed to be one of the hardier ones well maybe it’ll come back hopefully yeah we can hope um as a ground cover here i’ve heard uh garlic is good in between the trees okay raspberries would you leave them um yeah these are raspberries yeah it doesn’t matter um currants anything actually but the garlic is good because it it has that scent and it they don’t smell the fruit trees as much so we’ve got rabbits you got one here that was it was a whip last year just a simple stick and it we pruned it so now it’s created three branches like we talked about apples like they usually like the three what would we do with this one i would leave one branch long and the other two short all right is that what you do ryan you can pick a leader so one of these we want to be a leader yeah um we could even try and prop it up like that and then the other two nigel wants to make into branches so we’ll prune them back it’s kind of hip height so it’ll be the lowest part of your scaffold branches and then apples really like having a leader they want to know who’s in charge they’re sort of like a wolf pack so if this guy’s our leader we want him to be distinctly taller than the others so we don’t want to prune him back down here we want to keep him sort of nice and tall but we also want to encourage him to branch a bit he’s not going to stay up i feel they know he’s the boss yeah okay if we can come back can we tie him to the good stage um he’ll naturally grow up okay trees want to grow up so he’ll next year if they know he’s the boss he’ll grow up okay yeah awesome this is sweet cherry sweet cherry so cherries are a little different so we’re gonna leave them for today okay too much information okay yeah mulberry they don’t they’ll act like a like an apple tree so we’ve got a leader we’ve got one branch that sounds great yeah so we could leave it or we could just simply tip the top doesn’t matter um just for fun because we like pruning we’ll tip the tops there we go that’s it easy as that there’s another easy one yep this is another easy one the rabbit’s got to it but it doesn’t matter below our waist or even our thighs so we don’t want this guy which the rabbits wanted and we just got us we call this a whip now if there’s no branches and we would simply prune him back to encourage some branching around waist height is where we want to start so here we go perfect that’s it when they’re this young you can see it goes really fast yeah what do we got there shelly this is an apple apple northern spy oh i like those so we’ve got a leader so we’ve got two branches starting those are borderline high enough so we could we could leave them or we could take them it’s up to you oh yes it does it has a little bit of a rabbit bite so let’s take him off yeah that makes our decision really easy yeah we’ll say they’re too low then i would yeah i think they were and we’ll simply knock that back get our first scaffolding branches yeah perfect this one’s pretty much the exact same as that previous one without the rabbit damage that i can see yeah so we’ll do the opposite this one we’ll leave the branches we’ll knock them back and we’ll just take this back just a wee little bit yeah and that this guy is actually a cherry i think i don’t see the thing but he’s not an apple i don’t think oh well he’ll be fine yeah all right that’s so great do you want to go down this roll ryan or there’s probably more to prune on these ones these ones are just little whips [Music] this one’s dead already there’s no like left in him oh really yeah we don’t have to do much how bad the bringing on that no there are guard works though yeah yeah it’s fine where the guard is i guess something will come out as long as we get oh sorry you go ahead so we’ve got our graft here it was pruned back here possibly by rabbits last year and then it looks like the rabbits are pruning it again for us so we need to this tree in theory almost would survive there’s almost a root up yeah but not quite and so we need to cut below that and so we’ll just pick anywhere below it but as i’m cutting it he’s feeling pretty dead already so he might not make it so we’ve got two that might need replacement [Music] there is there’s an apple tree just outside the local yeah right in front of the greenhouse that the rabbits took it back right to the graft about an inch above the grass and if you drive by the local now it’s a tree tons of branches it’s completely recovered really wow they got quite the pile of snow on the trees there from the shoveling in the parking lot because the snow was so hot so this guy looks survivable um he’s not completely girdled there’s still a nice sort of half inch all along this side or he’s free but he’s gonna struggle for sure wow those rabbits hey yeah we’re gonna have to get more guards going all the way up i think yeah you want more like like higher longer ones yeah i think you’ve got the 40 or 48 inches those seem to be better okay i have i took them home to my place i think we’ve got about four left because i put them on all the rest of the trees chicken wire might work too yeah chicken wire could if it’s nice and fine yeah but yeah you can chicken wire is hard to get above three feet yeah and usually comes in two or three i put a rectangular one that’s more like four feet right you could get it four feet that could potentially work yeah i put chicken wire around the seedlings in the bed over there because they were getting chewed on so i put a big ring around it and that seemed to save them so yeah and this is the plum ryan this one’s a problem to be done so it’s gonna respond differently um i think we had sort of decided we were gonna treat all of these as a central leader which is the style we’re learning here so we can prune it roughly the same it’s not gonna respond quite as vigorously sending out new shoots so we just have to be a little more careful in how we prune these ones um so this guy um he wants he’s they’re a little confused as to who’s boss right here everybody’s going up um and so we’re just going to sort of remind them that they’re branches and not not leaders that’s a pretty harsh there’s a little guy out there but i think that’ll be all right um this guy would be nice to have to be a branch because we don’t have a whole lot down low so we’re gonna prune him so that he can become a branch and that’s tricky it’s gonna probably rub on the on the stake at all so let’s take the stake out these guys should be old enough now that they can handle a bit yeah and it’s just the road that has to be removed yeah he’s going to be moved anyways actually so that’s perfect yeah on the inside up top here we’ve got a lots going on um we we’ve got some branches down here that we probably want to keep because we have very little down low so we’ll see those as branches and i’m just going to simply pick one of these as a leader um this guy here and we’ll take the rest off that are close to him this guy will become a branch and this guy will become a branch something like that and this guy will take off so hopefully these guys can branch out um and next year it could sort of really fill up awesome i don’t know which we’re gonna move this guy so we might use him again yeah we’ve got some more rabbit damage on this guy too that’s a red apple water so we’ve got some rabbit damage over here so we’ll cut him off and this guy same thing the whole bottom of him is damaged let’s cut him back i don’t think there’s anything there but let’s see if we can get something there’s a bud there yeah that might spread out wouldn’t it help that no um now we’re gonna go back to creating the structure so we’ll take a couple branches here that are sort of nice and low we’ll save those guys hopefully these guys can start to create something we don’t have anything over there so i’m also going to leave him as a scaffold and we’ll take off sort of that next layer and then maybe we’ll look for something up here and that could do the same [Music] so we’ve got maybe these three can do something and we’ll leave this guy’s going up he’s kind of a funny leader even though he’s technically higher so but we’ll make him the new leader and we don’t want to confuse anybody so we’ll take these guys off there’s not a lot going on there but i think next year you can get a lot more sprouting and we’ll see what’s going on this guy’s these guys are this one’s holy wow this guy’s not gonna make it so what is it oh wow it was liberty apple nasty so i think our option with a tree like this is simply to prune it back and hope he sprouts yeah that one’s really damaged at this point yeah if we look down you’re right yeah pulled and rested that gives it a whole bunch so is it what the rabbits are after is the is the cambium just under the bark that’s the basically the live tissue of a tree yeah and so they’ve eaten it all along there and there’s nothing we can do to get that back um just like cutting off like a blood to your heart yeah like there’s no blood going to the heart anymore over time what to do each year the tree will sort of when it puts on that new layer of growth of wood it will encroach on that a little bit and so give it three four years and it could eventually close that up but there is basically no sap running along that side of the tree at this point um until it’s able to slowly close that up yeah i mean there’s nothing we can do we can’t graft um tissue back on and so we just sort of have to hope that the tree will slowly heal itself they can bridge a small gap but once it gets yeah kind of more than the thickness of the trunk they are out of luck yeah well exactly it’s kind of north facing so it won’t be getting heavy sun all the time true and then if we to continue our pruning lesson we’ll just sort of pick a couple scaffold branches here for the future so i’m liking these thicker ones so i’m going to take off the thinner ones that are just sort of clouding it up and i’ll knock them back to try and make them be branches yeah um he’s already dead yeah this guy you can see the different angles like he’s very very he’s maybe like a 10 15 degrees so he’ll never be a good branch so we want to take him off right same with this guy too vertical and then we’d simply or that’s where you need the branch spreaders too yeah you could spread them a little bit yeah um if you really if you was the only branch you had and you want to keep them you could do something like that but this tree is not doing so well either over the winter right they’ll just chew through girls oh yeah i think they would yeah you need something some sort of physical barrier that yeah obviously is going up to almost waist height so like dogs what about smoking possible yeah we’d need like something yeah you would need a couple stakes started creating i would think chicken wire would probably be the cheapest thing to kind of wrap a tunnel around them yeah because chicken wire is really cheap anything else is going to get expensive the other option is you do a couple tree guards yeah put one there keep going up once they get into the branches though they become really tricky to put on and off so something more like chicken wire might be a good solution yeah that’s what i do with my cedars at home i put chicken wire around the base and i can actually wire to the branches so it doesn’t fall down or anything there’s somebody in my neighborhood okay those cedars can probably get unwrapped soon too yeah from with the burlap so much to do in spring all right we have to do our dormant oil there’s some rabbit damage but definitely this guy will do just fine oh good this is a mountain ash oh they don’t like mountain ash that’s not as sweet as the fruit trees so this one doesn’t need to be pruned in the same style we can almost just sort of clean him up um so it’s a different kind of style of doing it but it might look similar um this gets the little orange berries on it i think benzo’s stronger huh he’s been too strong but he’ll get here’s going to get moved yeah we got to move it out just to move this whole row so they get their lawnmower in yeah you can see how we started down here we’ve got about a third of it done i guess about a third and it didn’t take that long did it maybe yeah yeah this one’s kind of ringed this is another apple and uh there’s maybe a touch there but we could we could prune them but they’re all like three-quarters of the way through yeah too bad does anyone want to take a crack consequence-free yeah looks awesome we have the perfect opportunity to use our one limb spreader that we’ve got in the other tree we’ll see yeah we have nothing over this way so it doesn’t hurt yeah um that’s the limb spreader there we go so we’ll try well well if it works that looks great yeah that’s beauty if we can get him to work and so just the rest of this you definitely don’t want sort of that’s the artist’s choice at this point you could leave it completely and it’ll be quite bushy and vigorous or you could take it back up to here to sort of promote that that’s probably the best for establishing future growth and then so nigel were you saying does this have to be tipped it could be um it’s a little long isn’t it compared to the others but i mean right there yeah yep and we may get like we may get suckers come or not suckers but branching coming off down lower so we may not lose the tree we may lose the top of it but something will live usually it will it’s very unusual to lose a tree because the top got damaged i think you have to look at what the rabbits chewed at and everything above that then just have a branching beyond that point exactly it’s sort of starting over with the tree which is too bad how’s that one and i can’t remember what you said about they’re just they’re not gonna be as vigorous with sprouting new branches this one’s a plum no rabbit damage because of this nice high guard right oh right under there see they’re pulling the guards down yeah how bad is it ah it’s not good i’ll show you uh yeah we’re just gathering plants there’s a chunk there and a chunk over on this side it’s survivable i think it’ll live yeah that’ll heal cool [Music] they’re just they’re not like apples right well we’ll we’ll treat them sort of the same you treat it like an apple tree yeah you kind of look at the you want that similar structure if you can get it that’s the northern tip of the garden cleaning the tools okay so if anybody wants to encourage [Music] and then so now but this is gonna i was gonna leave this as the leader yeah yeah so then this will be the only branch yeah these ones will develop this next year and you’ll pick which ones you want to grow of those would you take this guy right back too that stump there well this guy no i would leave i would leave that as your first branch okay i would i would take this vertical part off and try and develop these two more spreading ones can i take him off yeah okay and then i would tip them and so back here yeah kimchi yeah exactly and that’s good for that first branch it’s a good height it’s a good direction and then you’ve got a second branch here and this is your leader i know oh yeah and then prune off the others so can i tip him yep okay okay so when you say prune like prune all of these right now right take them right off otherwise you’re gonna get that all congested in there this year it’ll grow and you won’t have that space for air circulation geez somebody else should have this is um this is a really good practice treat yeah oh that’s awesome i guess he’s gonna shorten this one then yeah everything but the leader would be shortened quite far back so is this two these two are they too close like or do you like him better than this one for going up that way it’s up to you you gotta decide shelly you guys it’s your decision [Music] i don’t know if he should be down further i did tip him but maybe he needs to it’s up to you shelley whatever you feel what would magic do that’s my question what would matter did you you did tip the leader no just maybe that maybe he needs more but he we need a good strong like he has to give the message yes that he’s the boss yeah okay that’s where i’d leave it if anybody thinks i should take off more say so what about this one you’ve got all of this out on that side already yeah so you don’t need it yeah kind of [ __ ] it out isn’t it above that little guy this one yeah is that branch you want to do something with this branch um sort of tone it back a bit like somewhere here yeah it’s your choice really just knock it back somewhere [Music] or you could prune it back to there let’s get a horizontal growth is that like that yeah yeah that looks good and would you do the ends or not yeah why not you probably get rid of that little one in there too right in between the crocs are those two branches yeah yeah little guys they’re insignificant like so chop these yeah but yeah i’ve just thought with plums you don’t do as much you don’t usually know you can leave them a little bit more it’s looking good whoa we don’t have to tell them my brain is so overloaded with pruning right now you’re probably getting hungry that’s what it is the coffee is doing it i don’t know these branches really they’re coming out of a weak point here yeah too many in the one spot yeah let’s leave the one the other one that looks much better now that looks good ryan you

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