Pruning blind wood on a walnut tree

Asked January 29, 2015, 6:33 AM EST

My walnut tree is about 10 feet high and has never been pruned. The 4 scaffold branches are now about 5 foot long and only have a few leaves at the end of each scaffold. There are no laterals but only blind wood between the growth at the tips and the main trunk. How do I create lateral branching on this blind wood? Do I cut all the scaffold branches back to the main trunk to promote new scaffold branches, or can I cut into the blind wood? When is the best time to take the regenerative action?

Outside United States trees and shrubs pruning

1 Response

I am not sure why you are getting only limited growth at the shoot tips. Where are you located? Is there a disease problem. Generally we do very ilttle pruning to walnuts removing lower shaded limbs, crossovers and vigorous uprights from the interior scaffold limbs. Cutting back into older wood will force new growth behind the cuts but most of those shoots will grow upwards. Making these cuts in the dormant season will result in a lot of sap flow from the wounds in the spring so you may want to wait until after growth has begun to make your cuts.