Pruning Terminology

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Pruning Terminology 

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Apical Dominance – the ability of the growing tip of the shoot to produce the auxin hormone, which prevents lateral buds (found at the base of single leaves along the shoot) from developing. The dominance of the apical bud determines a tree’s branch habit and its response to pruning.

Central leader – a style of pruning that develops one strong trunk in the center of the tree branch habit and its response to pruning.

Dormant pruning — all large branch cuts and some thinning are done when the buds are at rest for the winter, generally after risk of deep freeze is past in order to avoid winter injury.

Fruiting spur — short shoots on wood two years or older that bear the fruit.

Heading cut — the shearing of a shoot or branch along its length and thus out from the point of attachment with another branch. The type of cut induces hormonal response that is best reserved for specific horticulture purpose.

Latent bud — a bud, more than a year old that lies dormant in the bark tissue, usually concealed until such time as severe pruning or bark injury cause that bud to grow.

Modified central leader — a style of pruning that allows the central leader to eventually branch off to form several tops; it’s often easier to maintain than other forms of pruning, because trees naturally grow this way.

Root suckers — shoots from the roots of the tree, which being below the graft union will grow into a wild tree within your tree if not cut away.

Scaffold — the frame work layers of the bearing trees , each composed of three to five main branches which allow for better sunlight penetration and air flow than could be had in an un-layered tree.

Stubbing cut — a heading cut made into three year or older wood to reduce the length of a limb and encourage replacement laterals.

Summer pruning — the removal of water sprouts after terminal bud set helps light reach the interior fruit, while at same time checking vegetative re growth.

Terminal bud — The growing point of the tree at the very tip of every shoot.

Thinning cut — the removal of an entire branch at its junction with another Branch. These non-invigorating cuts are used to open up airflow and increase sunlight penetration to interior fruit buds.

Water sprouts — a vertical shoot arising from the trunk or main branches of the tree.

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