Pruning a newly planted nectarine tree


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I just bought a small nectarine tree on a whim and planted it. I was reading on nectarine pruning and saw that most people seem to recommend pruning the tree upon planting but they also say you should prune before leaves emerge. I bought the tree with leaves already out so I'm wondering, should I just wait until next year when it's coming out of dormancy to prune or should I go ahead and lop the top off now? My gut reaction is to let the tree get established this year then do the first major prune next year but I'd love some thoughts.
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From what I have read don't prune it this year. This is what I have done with the 15 fruit trees I have put in over the last two years.

The theory is pruning will stimulate growth up top and remove the means of the plant to make energy. By keeping the leafs you keep the plant able to provide sugars to the roots.

But you need to watch the watering as the roots were hacked apart to put the tree in a pot. It's especiually important this year with the lack of rain fall we've had.

The easiest way I have found to meter out water and water deeply is to drill a 1/4" hole in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket. You can then fill the bucket and place it next to the tree. It will take 15 to 20 minutes for that 5 gallons to seep into the ground and it won't run off as it would if you pour 5 gallons on the ground in 30 seconds with the hose. Last year I was doing 2 half buckets a week per tree through about July 1 then switched to one full bucket once a week if we didn't have rain. Is my reasoning right? I don't know, but I didn't lose any of the 6 I planted last year.
 
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Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
15
Reaction score
7
Location
Lansing, MI
Hardiness Zone
5b/6a
Country
United States
From what I have read don't prune it this year. This is what I have done with the 15 fruit trees I have put in over the last two years.

The theory is pruning will stimulate growth up top and remove the means of the plant to make energy. By keeping the leafs you keep the plant able to provide sugars to the roots.

But you need to watch the watering as the roots were hacked apart to put the tree in a pot. It's especiually important this year with the lack of rain fall we've had.

The easiest way I have found to meter out water and water deeply is to drill a 1/4" hole in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket. You can then fill the bucket and place it next to the tree. It will take 15 to 20 minutes for that 5 gallons to seep into the ground and it won't run off as it would if you pour 5 gallons on the ground in 30 seconds with the hose. Last year I was doing 2 half buckets a week per tree through about July 1 then switched to one full bucket once a week if we didn't have rain. Is my reasoning right? I don't know, but I didn't lose any of the 6 I planted last year.
Thanks. That kinda confirms my feelings that pruning half the tree off at this point would likely be a bad move.

I like your watering idea. I was thinking I would just have to come back to the tree three or four times every watering to get it soak down but the bucket thing is a good idea.
 

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