Whow and when to trim a monolata fruit tree
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Whow and when to trim a monolata fruit tree
Posted on 20 July 2010 at 00:00
I have a monolata and I've always trim and remove any spindly or broken branches when I'm trimming it. But I had a monolata on my patio which is the first one I ever had. We got a big lump of clay underneath it which made it a bit of an issue to get under the main trunk because it was thickly branched and spindly so there was a problem with getting under it without hitting branches. I couldnt see any obvious sign of a branch needing trimming until I started trimming and ended up cutting off 5-10 of them along with about 5-10mm of trunk. Does anyone else know how to tell when they need trimming as mine just looks like it will always need it and I dont see a point in trimming them anymore. Does it only need trimming when it gets big and starts loosing leaves or does it also need it for the first couple of years when it is new and getting rid of the spindly branches that wont support the weight of a squirrel or a leaf that is about to fall off?
Posted on 20 July 2010 at 20:58
Monolata - apropos of nothing in particular - a friend has a 1.5m high monolata in the garden. Now every now and then it gets swollen at the base, but I've always assumed this was caused by something else, like an attack of canker. It'll die for sure though if no pruning is carried out.
But I think it's "the sign of something worth keeping" and the photo of it in front of the window is actually rather nice - it does give the illusion of a large plant, even when on its own.
The one you refer to has lots of foliage - this needs trimming at a normal trimming interval. I presume it's 6-8 years old, so maybe not getting that big until then?
They're an easy plant to grow, so you don't have to feed it, but you might want to mulch it up once it gets a good start. Once there's a decent root system down below the surface, it'll look after itself.
Monolata are notorious for getting large tree suckers on their 'old' trunks, so be careful about taking out any old (3rd or 4th) branches if that should ever happen. They get quite tall and 'open' when they get to the larger sizes, so are quite good at spreading out.
Posted on 24 July 2010 at 10:53
yes you are right it was the big swollen part at the base and the trunk was just straight above that. That must be quite good for the birds as I dont know of any other type of tree that we could put bird baths on. Thanks for the reply.
Oh and I managed to get into the base of it and the main trunk was on stilts so couldnt get under it. Ive cut back all the branches at the base now and trimmed all the leaves out so just one branch going straight up and an arc around it. It is looking a lot better.
After another serious bout of pruning the back branches from the left side i've finally managed to get them trimmed back to about half their original length, in most cases it means i've cut about 2-3 feet of branch off. I find the odd one still has a small branch that is growing out of it's first year wood, this will also have to be pruned off. Now that the 'woody core' is visible it makes it much easier to see where the branches will need trimming and where to remove smaller branches so it will be more effective. I've cut the number of branches on both sides up to 7 from the bottom of the canopy.
The top of the tree is now quite thick and I'm going to have to decide whether or not to prune it. If I trim all the branches I don't think there will be enough open area for air to circulate at the top, unless i cut them back to the point that they are all tied into the centre of the canopy with very small branches growing out from the point and branches going up to the top. I think I may cut the bottom down to the first branch point (which will be thick and quite woody) and prune all the remaining branches back until they are at about half their size or under and cut off any shoots that go up until the canopy is covered in foliage.
Would it be more effective to cut out all the small branches and only prune a single line of main branches back into the trunk to begin with? That way i would have less branches to trim off and less woody areas that the tree needs to push into growth.
This is an example of the various ways monolata fruit trees can be pruned back. We don't cut and trim this every year but we probably could. If we did it at all, we would probably do it for a couple of years.
What is the usual method of pruning a monolata fruit tree? Is it just trimmed back to where the branches are tied to the main trunk and with any smaller branches removed, so that the canopy is open?
As a former citrus and apple grower I am probably doing something that is wrong here, but I always used to have one or two standard on the tree each year to remind myself why the fruit didn't want