Nature's Best To You.
Plants:Central Leaders


Central LeadersTraining and pruning trees is an art and a science. The day we plant our trees is the day we begin to prune and train them for future production. Neglect in this area results in poor growth, and in some species, delayed fruiting. The purpose of pruning a young tree is to control its shape by developing a strong, well-balanced framework of scaffold branches. Unwanted branches are removed or cut back early to avoid the necessity of large cuts in later years. 

Our highly skilled crews give special attention to a tree’s formative years to obtain the desired shape and structure. They select and promote a predominate limb early in the growing process of the tree to promote good form, balance, and structure. Such care and attention is vital to the life span of the tree - paying dividends later in life. The key to successful training is selecting the optimal point on the main stem from which the branches form. In the central-leader system of training, the trunk forms a central axis with branches distributed laterally up and down and around the stem. When referring to fruit trees, central-leaders are an extremely common topic with endless publications and forums.

Benefits of CLS in Mature Stages

Bur Oak, in early spring, showing its dominant stem formation due to expert care during formative years.

Central Leaders

2" Caliper Trees in Growing Fields

Princeton Elm in our growing fields in Jackson, WI are trained from year one until they become saleable.

Johnson's Nursery Central Leader Systems

2.5" Caliper Trees

Pioneer Elm with nicely balanced central leader, showing control.

Johnson's Nursery Central Leader Systems

3" Caliper Trees

River Birch with central leader limb is the base of a well-balanced framework.

Central Leaders

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