Pruning 3rd and 4th leaf trees


3rd leaf tree before pruning


During the first and second year after planting, the primary branches of the young almond trees were properly selected and trained, as explain in their respective posts. In spring and summer of third year I eliminated some crossing shoots or those which grew towards the inner side and trimmed some branches that were not leading to the right direction. Trees became strong.This strenght allows either further tree growth or first almond production next year. Pruning is the tool to chose the right option. If you prune short, you get growth. If you prune long, you get fruit.



Pruned 3rd leaf tree.


The right option for dry farming is short pruning. It is the way to achieve a big and strong tree whose main branches would not bend with the fruit weight. Long pruning would led to a meagre crop the fourth year and a poorly structured tree onwards. The pruning that I made for these 3rd leaf trees consists of keeping the primary scafolds with incipient secondary scafolds at intervals of 30 to 40 cm . Winter pruning can be done from late October to February. I prefer doing so early.




Pruning 4th leaf trees proved to be a harder work, since they were vigorous and many branches had to be cleared. The purpose was to consolidate the final structure. I kept the inner part of the tree open. I also eliminated branches that may interfire with the equipment. The final training of this orchard has been achieved after that. For 5th and older leaf trees I avoid pruning,  I only cut ill or dead branches and those that may disturb operations.

4th leaf before pruning
Pruned 4th leaf tree














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