Thursday, January 13, 2011

Permaculture Pruning: Lesson One

Me climbing into the main crotch of a peach tree.

To prune properly, you need to know something about how the plant is structured and how it responds to getting cut. The following is a list and description of some of the important parts of a woody plant for you to know when pruning.

In future posts I will teach how to prune right.

Branch A subordinate shoot coming off of a larger stem.

Branch Bark Ridge This is a pucker of bark that appears on the upper side of the angle where two limbs meet. It is most common on angles where one limb is bigger than the other. Branch bark ridges do not appear on all trees. Lindens, for instance, rarely have them.

Crotch The area where two limbs meet.

Co-dominant Stems Two branches that are about equal in size and vigor.

Collar A swollen ring at the base of a branch where it meets the trunk of a larger branch. This ring contains wood created from the branch itself as well as the larger limb it is attached to. The collar is easily visible on some limbs, but it is usually hard for the beginner to see.

Included Bark When two branches grow close enough together that they are unable to knit together properly. This causes the back to get caught and die between the two branches. Crotches that have included bark are common breaking points when the tree is under stress.

Node The point on a stem where buds and leaves are or were attached.

Scaffold Limb The major branches of a fruit tree.

Spur A short, slow growing stem that is often the area of fruit growth.

Sucker A shoot growing from the base or roots of a plant. Watersprouts are often called suckers.

Trunk The main stem of the tree.

Watersprout A vigorous, fast growing branch. Watersprouts usually grow vertically.

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