Pruning young trees can be a challenge this fall and winter if excess precipitation is in store from El Nino conditions.
Advisors say it’s simple: Rain and pruning don’t mix and most growers are well aware of the negatives of that relationship. El Nino weather could mean more rain more often this fall and winter and that could make pruning difficult. “It’s good to know first of all, that you can prune, say right now or even October till early spring, post bloom. You have plenty of time to work with,” says Cooperative Extension Tree Crop Advisor Franz Neiderholtzer. “If you prune right in front of rain, you have a significant risk of getting disease infections in your trees, which isn’t good period, but it’s really tough on young trees. The tree isn’t very big and usually the cuts are pretty good size, selecting scaffolds and things like that. You really run the risk of damaging the tree for possibly quite a while when pruning young trees in front of rain. Everyone has got to prune, or at least there’s some tree and nut crops that require pruning at certain times. So if you have to prune, make sure to prune your youngest stuff when the weather looks the best as far as dryness goes.”