Japanese black pine immediately after pruning/lacing/shaping/grooming, a couple days after pruning begun. Purpose: to get it ‘on the path’ to a more classical ‘oriental’ style, which can take several years. In Pt. Loma, autumn 2008. Also see photos 21-23, which is 1 1/2 years later, and photo 34 which shows the tree 4 years later, in December 2012. In this photo, #1, about 3/4 of the foliage was taken off, - this is contrary to some 'party line' industry standards, but, this degree of trimming is sustainably very tolerable with some bushes, trees, and other plant types, when done judiciously at appropriate times no more frequent than necessary, which could only be once, or at seasonal/annual intervals for some plants; and is appropriate for some intents, and typically only worthwhile with trees and bushes under fifteen feet, but there are larger exceptions.
Black Mission Fig before pruning, Normal Heights, January 2009. Pruned each year since 1992.
Nectarine tree in Vista, November 2016, immediately after pruning. The owner requested it get a modest pruning even though the leaves hadn't dropped yet,.... and that's fine to do. I didn't take a 'before' picture, but you can see the trimmings on the ground. What I did was reduce the size/height about 2 feet, along with some thinning/lacing.
North Park, December 2009. Forward tiny trees are Panamint Nectarine at left, Mid-Pride Peach at right, Apricot in middle, five years in place, all just after pruning (about half of growth was pruned off), and then Pierce Cherimoya behind them which was not just pruned, but which gets pruned in May, since that is when Cherimoyas drop their leaves which is the usual time for their main pruning(this one pruned every year since 1993). All are standards, not dwarfs, and are examples of appropriate pruning to keep trees small, and yet still having very good production and quality of fruit. For the Nectarine, Peach, and Apricot, at least one more pruning is necessary during the growing season, such as in late Spring, May/June, to reduce growth density and length (lacing) in order to have good light penetration (reduced shading) among the twigs and fruit in order to get best fruit quality, and, twig and bud development quality. Another lacing pruning in August might be appropriate for the purpose of best twig and bud development for best structure for fruiting for the following year. If the twigs are too shaded they develop 'too thin' with fewer buds, and are unlikely to firmly hold the fruits for the following year. And, particularly with Peaches and Nectarines, the fruit get to be best quality with some direct sun on the fruits.
Apricot tree which the owners wanted appropriately substantially reduced. Done in November, per the owners preference, though that's earlier than usual, but it's okay for the tree. And so you can see the appropriate reduction in the photo below. Long whip lengths were kept to keep more buds through winter, which sparrows may eat before the buds open-flower. So the idea is to potentially trim the longer whip-lengths during or after flowering time if desired for stronger shorter structural lengths, so as to maximize the amount of buds through winter, and potential flowers-fruits, while still allowing for some bud-eating by the sparrows before flowering. An informal sensitive considerations pruning:
Panamint Nectarine about a year after planting. Before pruning at left, and after pruning below. The purpose of the pruning is to cut the limbs/twigs to firmer/shorter lengths which will be much better able to hold fruit rather rather firmly rather than substantially sagging with the weight of the fruit.
At click-on photo at left, Santa Rosa Plum before pruning, and another plum immediately behind it. About a year after planting. Photo below shows the plum(s) immediately after pruning:
Orange at completion of 'makeover'. Pruned/laced/shaped/groomed: cut out the dead and low vitality twigs, limbs, and other branches that weren't well positioned(which were the majority of what was cut out), and painted the sun-exposed bark with white latex paint. The problem with the tree mainly was that the watering practice wasn't adequate. It needed more water less frequently: instead of three 10 minute waterings per week on three separate days, make it one 30 minute watering one day per week. Also enlarged the basin a foot + in width, and added a layer of mulch.
White Sapote in San Diego, 2014, before pruning in the click-on photo at left, and right after pruning in photo below:
Same peach as above immediately after pruning. Again, the reason for the cutting back is to keep the branches firmer for holding fruit, so the branches won't sag substantially, and reducing the amount of fruit set, though thinning will still likely be necessary after fruit set when they reach about 1" in size in order to get better/best quality fruit, leaving at least a fist spacing between fruit when they're at that 1" size in order to allow full development without likely touching when the fruit is mature.
Olive tree, Fletcher Hills, reduced about 5 feet in height all around, some dead and near dead substantial-limb removal, lacing/thinning, and removal of a few substantial low limbs. Forgot to take before picture. I was contacted initially because of the owners concern about some dead limbs. The dead limbs were likely caused by a soil-transmitted disease called Verticillium Wilt, which translocates through the tree and can cause random die-off of limbs and twigs, with dead foliage usually still attached. Occurrence of die-off is variable. It can be either a little or a lot. Only effective management is trimming/pruning.
Same tree as photo 24 after pruning, though photo taken about a month after pruning job. A bit of flowering and leafing have begun in this photo. Kensington.
Old Japanese Black Pine at beginning of pruning, with purpose to thin it out substantially, 2011.
Midpride Peach, kept dwarf, under 7 feet, grafted onto Apricot seedling, growing in situ in ground, in 1994. Photo, June 2012. Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums,... all can benefit from a pre-ripening-time pruning to get more light on the fruit for more color and sugar development, especially if it is desired to keep the tree relatively small, say under 7'. And it can also be good in some cases to do post harvest pruning sometime in summer, as appropriate, for more light on the twigs and branches for stronger twig and bud development for best fruit production the following year. Winter pruning can then be done for refinement. And then in early spring, peaches and nectarines with abundant fruit set should be thinned substantially for best fruit development and quality, - at least 6 inches between each fruit, at mature size, for best quality(so make good estimation of mature size at the early spring fruit thinning time).
Showing Tabebuia chrysotricha, a yellow flowering small tree, wherein it had two codominant stems, which created a narrow crotch shown in the close-up photo. Narrow crotches/attachments such as this, having a 'v' shape, with 'included bark', are relatively prone to breaking-off through a combination of weight stresses due to growth weight and/or strong winds. The portion that was cut off was nearly half of the canopy-crown. The portion that remains was determined to be more substantial and even in distribution. I was called in to diagnose and correct this structural situation, and so I decided to cut out the lesser desireable portion, and brace the remaining portion and trunk, in order for the remaining portion to take on a balanced central postion. Btw, I didn't consider taking a before photo, - woops. The staking positions were re-done along with the multiple points of bracing as necessary to make for a straight trunk and centered canopy. In the full length photo at left the v-crotch is at the second-from-top rubber brace. In time, maybe two to three years, the tree will strengthen its structure and be self standing without staking.
Same pine as in photos 1-2 and 21-23. This photo is in late December 2012, four years after initializing the training. Last pruning was April 2010, though more pruning-training could be done, the client decided to hold off to save money. The tree is looking good anyhow. Alternate perspective:
Stipa lepida after taking off seed stalks that had lowered more than desired for the landscape composition. July 2013. Photo below after grooming/taking off old seed stalks:
Apricot, Pt. Loma. Client wanted the size reduced, and still with some fruiting buds/twigs remaining.
Appe tree, Chula Vista, 2014. Client wanted tree reduced modestly, after years of no pruning; not really detailed pruned, just informally reduced.