At a young age, fruit trees occasionally need some support from a branch brace so they do not break under the weight of foliage or fruit. If possible, avoid using a brace by thinning the fruit out during flowering to what the branch can handle. If you do need to use a branch brace, use a method of a pole with pantyhose to gently support the branch.
Prune back the excess fruit on the branches, particularly at the ends.
Dig a small hole near the base of the tree, as close as possible to the branch that needs support. Stop digging once you encounter any root systems. Insert the pole into this hole, pack dirt around it and twist it in until it is firmly in the ground.
Cut off the legs from each pair of pantyhose or use the stretchy fabric. Tie all four pairs or strips together and wrap the length around the trunk of the tree and the wooden pole, securing them together so the wooden pole acts as a stake.
Hammer a nail into the wooden pole a few inches above the branch that needs support (young trees are seldom taller than 6 feet, which is the height of the pole).
Tie securely one end of a pantyhose leg around the branch that needs support. Tie the other end of the pantyhose to the pole, right above the nail so the pantyhose won't slip down.
Things You Will Need
- Pruning shears and scissors
- 6-foot pole, 1 inch thick
- 4 pairs old pantyhose or strips of stretchy fabric
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