To prune Fruit and Almond Trees

1. Roots: Prune off only excessively long or broken roots.

2. Prune tops in mid-February. Cut trunks of trees that are to be mechanically harvested 28″–32″ above ground. See illustration A. Peach and nectarine trees are often cut lower. See illustrativon B.

To plant, prune and paint Walnut Trees

1. Trees should be cut to 4’–5′ at time of planting.

2.  Always use water to settle soil and eliminate air pockets around walnut tree roots to complete the planting.

3. In mid-March, recut to 6″–10″ above graft or bud union. Cover cut with Tree Seal. Paint trees from ground level to top using white INTERIOR latex paint; water soluable. Dilute with 25% water. See illustration C.

A word about tree protectors

Tree protectors have been used for many years asa way of protecting newly planted trees. However, in some rare cases, they have been knwon to cause localized sunburn. the best protection of the prevention of sunburn damage is to paint trees from ground level to top using white latex paint; water soluable — diluteed with 25% water.

Replanting orchard trees

Site preparation after removal of a tree

1. Remove as many of the existing roots as possible from the previous tree. Ideally, all roots with a diameter greater than 1/2″ should be removed. Dead roots can be a host for nematodes, oak root fungus, and other organisms.

2. Deep rip or backhoe to loosen soil and break any existing layering of soil, such as hard pan or plow pan. Loose soil needs to be settled before planting to insure that the newly.planted tree does not settle and become planted too deep. Fumigate the site to kill any organism that may exist in the soil or small roots left from the previous tree.


1. The hole should be large enough to accommodate the roots. If the hole is dug by an auger, it is important to break down the sides of the hole to eliminate soil glazing. If sides are glazed, the situation is similar to planting into a plastic pot — root growth will be restricted.

2. Keep tree roots moist. If all trees cannot be planted in one day, then either “heel” the unplanted trees in moist soil or keep them in a closed building and cover the roots with moist burlap sacks. Always keep trees protected from the elements. Wind and sun can dry tree roots very quickly. Roots must also be protected from freezing temperatures.

3. Minimal pruning should be done to the roots. Roots that are broken or exceptionally long (and will not fit in the hole) are the only roots that need pruning.

4. Trees should not be planted any deeper than the depth they were planted in the nursery. A color change on the roots will indicate where ground level was in the nursery. It is better for the tree to be planted slightly too high than too low. Trees planted too deep are more susceptible to crown rot.

Other tips:

•  In poorly drained soils, it is a good idea to plant trees on a berm or small mound.

•  If you are replanting in an area that has had problems with crown gall, the replant tree should be treated with Agrobacterium Radiobacter.

•  Trees should be watered in with 2 to 3 gallons of water (depending on soil conditions) to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets.

•  Fertilizer in the hole at planting is not recommended because it can cause new roots to be burned very easily.

•  In windy areas, leaning trees slightly into the prevailing wind may benefit growth.