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Pruning lemon trees can be a fun task. For many a lemon tree is exotic and has the sense of mystery around it. But clarification is the key to any task. And the more you learn, the more you will enjoy because lemons are a really fun tree to have around.

The limbs that grow vertically will flower just like the other limbs but generally won't bear any fruit.

Just trim them to the desired length, I usually make the cut right above a leaf node, some people suggest cutting at a 45° angle with the cut facing up to promote branching. I usually prune about 1/4 inch above the node. You'll be able to see where it was pruned, no matter where you choose to cut. But the branches are small so it won't be that noticeable. Lemon trees love to be pruned, you'll notice lots of new leaf growth a month or so after pruning.

There's some in depth pruning information avaialbe for the different types of lemon trees so find the one that works for you.

Meyer lemons are grafted, rather than being grown from seed.

The bottom half is called the rootstock and the top is the scion. The rootstock is chosen for its hearty root structure, likely from an orange or some other variety of lemon, and the scion is a cutting from a Meyer lemon which is a really exceptional type of lemon.

You can try and angle it a little so that the tree is sitting a little more vertically if you want. Also, you'll want to prune off anything that grows below the graft line. Anything that grows below the graft line will not be a lemon baring.

There are so many ways to work with these remarkable trees, more than are within the scope of this text, so I really suggest looking for the information that is suitable for your area and your type of lemon tree.

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There's lots of info out there on tree pruning some of it is good, while other information is just plain wrong. It isn't that hard though. And it basically comes down to this; you want to cut away any branches that are growing in toward the center of the tree.

The reason that these branches are removed along with any branches that will grow to rub against each other is that they reduce the tree's overall efectiveness.

When you prune fruit trees like this you are giving them a chance to invest their engery into fruit production. You can really thin fruit trees and they will recover just fine though you may miss out on some fruit production.

Other trees however, for example, plum trees have to be carefully pruned because little "branches" stick out where the fruit grows on the next year. Different fruit tree's need different kinds of cuts to better maximize fruit production, even the space you have it in can determine what cut to use.

If you have never pruned before, or you have never pruned a specific type of tree make sure that you do a little research for the types of trees you have. I would suggest that you read Cass Turnbull, he has an entire book on pruning, and delineates how different species have different tollerance to pruning.

Be warned, though. Once you know what a badly pruned tree looks like you will realize that most of them have suffered some really terrible pruning.

It has the potential to make you sort of sad.

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There is quite a range of private companies in forestry. Some like Plum Creek, Weyerhaeser, and Potlatch directly own large tracts of timberland and manage them for production.

Weyerhaeser is pretty vertically integrated and even has its own research division.

What you also see a lot of these days are investment funds.

Companies like Lyme Timber own lots of land and pay share holders profits from the management. Consulting firms can be either pretty big operations like Prentiss and Carlisle, just one forester or anything in between. Consultants don't own their own land, but private landowners pay them to do management. This can be on the scale of Lyme Timber paying Prentiss and Carlisle to manage 200,000 acres, or one forester working on many different privately owned 200 acre mom & pop family woodlots.

People with a 4 year degree can easily get into field work. It's easier for someone with a 4 year degree to get into academic stuff than it is for someone with a 2 year degree.

And as for work in the government, in my opinion it's very difficult to get permanent jobs with the fed. I have several friends that did seasonal work year after year with the USFS for and yet they did not get permanent placement when the graduated. Yet, if you do land a full time job somewhere you can probably expect to keep it until you die if you want. With the USFS, you have the opportunity to move up and move around. But the problem is, there are a lot fewer opportunities when you want to stay in one place vs opportunities for 150 National Forests across the country.

The more opportunities you can take advantage of, the more that will be provided to you.

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Fruit trees can be tricky, if you over prune you may have to skip a year of fruit in what is known as biennial bearing. This doesn't mean that the tree will become biennial perinately, it just means that you will be missing out on a year of growth.


Typically it's best to prune apple trees in the winter when they're dormant, unless you are just removing broken or diseased branches.


Pruning when dormant generally results in vigorous new growth come spring, but the sap isn't running so you can take larger branches. Pruning during the rest of the year taking large branches can result in a risk for the tree. This isn't a given, but it shouldb e avoided..

You may have been told to prune in winter for structure and this is good solid advice. During th rest of the year you should only prune for size control and sickness, though a well maintained tree will tend to grow in the right direction for a number of seasons before any major work needs to be invested.

Size control is a simple task. You need to decide how tall you want the tree to be. If you only want your tree to be three yards tall you will cut off all new growth above that level. This results in a more uniform thickness and shape for the branches under that mark.

One thing that you may need to do with a well maintained tree is to focus on the fruit control. When they are caredfor they will tend to produce more fruit.

That means you may need to prune even if you have the right shape. Summer pruning can help thin the fruit load, keep the tree to a specific height, and thin out water shoots.

You have to be careful you don't get rid of next years fruiting wood though.


Trees, while not like us, can be infected with a wide variety of disease. If you have questions you can ask the extension office or other organizations in your area for advice.

Generally they like a photo of the whole tree from far away, one of the whole tree closer up, one of an infected branch, then a photo of an infected leaf or blossom.

Then put a magnifying glass up to an infected leaf and snap a shot of the front of the leaf then another of the back so that they can see the details.

Email all the photos to your extension office along with the variety of apple that you're growing and any other symptoms the photos don't show, and they'll tell you exactly what to do to make your tree fruit again!

Prep Work

Get your hands dirty!

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A career doesn't start once you graduate, it starts as soon as you set your sights on it. For wildlife and forestry careers that means that you need to do volunteer work, and as much as you can. Experience is what will get you farther than anything else. Here are some areas to look into.

  • animals
  • data entry
  • field work
  • lab work
  • plants

Don't be afraid to do plant jobs or wildlife jobs. Both focus on a lot of plant work and knowing your stuff can be very helpful. Because your focus isn't just "wildlife science" but "wildlife ecology."

Get to know your professors as well as they will let you get to know them. Some are more friendly than others. And some will be willing to help you when you graduate, build a repatrau with them.

Visit them.

Bug them.

Make it clear that you want to get involved.

They will be able to tell you if there is a natural resources-related club in your college.

Make friends with your fellow colleagues as some may get you far.

The more you do during your college years, the more people you get to know and stick with, and keep up with after graduation, the better off you'll be.

And you will find work everywhere. Some people are working happily at zoos, some on conservation projects, some as rangers for national parks like Yellowstone.

The ones who are going for their Masters?

I can work for them and the higher-ups I'm still friends with. And you make those friends by making sure that every summer of college you work in the field work, both inside and out-of-state. The pay was low, but the jobs were fun and the experience was priceless, both on my resume and in my life. Check your college job boards, T A&M frequently, and apply for summer jobs in the early early spring.

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If you are 100% new, try renting a couple times. Start with a short, wide beginner boat, then try again in a faster boat once you are used to the feel of a kayak.

Some shops offer demo days to try different boats.

I too paddle calm waters generally, but I do appreciate being able to get a little speed going if the mood strikes. A lot of people get the hang of the sport very quickly, so don't undershoot on the boat. Sit on tops and ultra cheap big box store boats will go slow, and only slow. People seem to love recommending terrible boats sometimes because they are "safer" (you would be surprised how many times that suggest boats that aren't all that safe) and cheap. Speed and efficiency go hand-in-hand.

You may not need a fast boat, but you will definitely appreciate efficiency. If it looks like a bathtub or something rented out at family resorts, it probably paddles as well as a barge

The car part is easy. There are kits with foam blocks and straps that work very well once you get the hang of the proper tie-down technique. Roof racks are great if you have the money, but put most of your cash towards a decent boat and a decent paddle. Other than that:

  • a comfy PFD
  • water shoes
  • a light source
  • a water bottle
  • sunscreen
  • a wetsuite or waterproof jacket (depending on the where you live)

And not to forget a way to get back in your kayak when you're alone.

Take courses and learn what you are doing, kayaking is more challenging than you may think.