Cutting Back Apples And Pears

"California Fruits" says the "apple does not relish cutting back, nor is

it desirable to shorten in the branches." But when a three-year-old tree

gets above 12 feet high, as many of mine are doing, what are you going

to do? I cut these back same last year, but up they go again with more

branches than ever. The pears are getting too tall, also. Should not

both apple and pear trees be kept down to about ten feet?

The quotation you make refers to old bearing trees, and indicates that

their pruning is not like that of the peach, which is continually

shortened in to keep plenty of new wood low down. Of course, in securing

low and satisfactory branching on young apples, pears, etc., there must

be cutting back, and this must be continued while you are forming the

tree. If you mean that these trees are to be permanently kept at ten

feet high, you should have planted trees worked on dwarfing stocks. Such

a height does not allow a standard tree freedom enough for thrift; as

they become older they will require from twice to thrice the altitude

you assign to them, probably. Pears can be more successfully kept down

than apples, but not to ten feet except as dwarfs.

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