blueberry pruning

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Otto Bjornson, Mar 21, 2024.

  1. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Contributor

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    Here is a video I created on how we personally prune our blueberries. Although I focus on Japanese maple care with my video's, we also grow most of our fruit and veggies on our property as well.
    We are located in Chilliwack, zone 8B
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2024
  2. vitog

    vitog Contributor 10 Years

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    This method of pruning appears to be a personal opinion; it's nothing like the methods described in any professional guide to blueberry growing, like the following: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriservice-bc/production-guides/berries/blueberries. The key paragraph from this guide follows.

    For mature plants, each year remove several of the oldest, weakest canes to encourage production of strong new shoots from the crown. Remove all weak, twiggy or diseased wood by cutting back to strong side-shoots. Remove low growth which will end up on the ground when loaded with fruit. Prune out crossing branches and excess wood in the centre of the bush to keep it open which allows good air movement and penetration of sprays.

    This is practically the opposite of the method in the video, and is the method that I adopted a few years ago, resulting in a significant increase in growth and production of my blueberry bushes. I try to remove enough of the oldest wood that a few vigorous new shoots grow straight up and replace the canes that have been removed. Weak new shoots are always removed.
     
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  3. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Contributor

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    Yes @vitog you are correct, definitely a personal approach that we use. (And yes, I have read that article in the past)
    Video is re posted with a description of how we generate the new young growth as well. Thanks for noticing that as I left out a couple of details.

    There is always enough new horizontal growth coming from the existing canes each year. And yes, when a cane is too old we do cut it out, but we find that year after year the older canes just continue to produce a constant amount of blueberries. The two oldest bushes that I show in the video are now at least 20 years old and no sign at all of the production decreasing.
    We do take in the aesthetics of the plant as well as we like the look and form of the plants. We also find the low hanging branches have produced a healthy amount of berries as well so we prune with all those personal details in mind. There are new canes that do grow thru out the season but it is the early spring aggressive upright shoots that we always do remove.
    And just to add, we have never sprayed a single chemical onto our blueberries since planting them.

    On the other hand, there are many commercial growers within 2-3 km our property. The method of pruning they use is somewhat different as everything is machine harvested and the bushes are much more contained with limits on how low they will allow the fruit to grow in general. And there are several spray applications they do each year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2024

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