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Training and Pruning Basics. Objectives and Tools. Balanced Renewal. Strong Tree Framework. Facilitate Management. Harvest Sunlight Efficiently. Maintain Productivity. What happens if you do not prune?. Faster growth Earlier fruiting Less light penetration Poor spray coverage

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Training and pruning basics l.jpg

Training and Pruning Basics

Objectives and Tools


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Balanced Renewal

Strong Tree Framework

Facilitate Management

Harvest Sunlight Efficiently

Maintain Productivity

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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What happens if you do not prune?

  • Faster growth

  • Earlier fruiting

  • Less light penetration

  • Poor spray coverage

  • More difficult to manage

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Balanced Renewal

Objectives of training

  • A. Establish a strong tree framework

  • B. Facilitate management of tree and crop

  • C. Harvest sunlight efficiently

  • D. Maintain productivity

    • by renewing fruiting wood

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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A. Establish a Strong Tree Framework

Structural Wood

  • Upright vertical trunk

  • Well distributed scaffolds

  • Wide crotch angles

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Vertical trunk

Establish a Strong Tree Framework

Well Distributed Scaffolds

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Establish a Strong Tree Framework

  • Wide branch angles are stronger

  • Narrow angles are weak and increase shading inside canopy

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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A Strong Tree Framework:

  • Major objective of the first three years

  • Must last the lifetime of the tree

  • Structural support for fruit crop

  • Should not be crowded

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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B. Facilitate Management of the Tree and Crop

  • Height of primary scaffolds

  • Distribute scaffolds well

  • Tree uniformity

  • Tree size

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Facilitate Management:1. Height of Primary Scaffolds

  • Access to tree base

    • Irrigation, herbicides, fertilizers

  • Allow air movement to minimize disease pressure

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Easy entry to tree

Thinning, pruning, harvesting

Good pesticide coverage

Facilitate Management:2. Distribute Scaffolds Well

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Facilitate Management:3. Tree Uniformity

  • Easier to train employees

  • Mechanization possible

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Facilitate Management:4. Tree Size

  • Small trees are easier to work

  • No ladders needed

  • Easy to reach all parts of tree

  • Better spray penetration

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Facilitate Management of the Tree and Crop

  • Optimize height of primary scaffolds

    • Allow space at tree base

  • Distribute scaffolds well

    • Do not over crowd scaffolds

  • Tree uniformity

  • Limit tree size with summer and winter pruning

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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C. Harvest Sunlight Efficiently

  • Maximize surface area of orchard covered by canopy

  • Limit canopy depth

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Most rapid in high density plantings

Harvest Sunlight Efficiently:1. Maximize surface area of orchard covered by canopy

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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50%

30%

Harvest Sunlight Efficiently:2. Limit Canopy Depth

Light Intensity Decreases Within the Tree Canopy

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Harvest Sunlight Efficiently:2. Limit Canopy Depth

Photosynthesis Decreases at Lower Light Levels

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Harvest Sunlight Efficiently:Poor Light Intensity Leads to

  • Poor fruit color

  • Poor fruit distribution

    • Less fruit bud development

  • Poor fruit size

  • Poor fruit flavor

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Poor fruit color

Harvest Sunlight Efficiently:Poor Light Intensity Leads to

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Harvest Sunlight Efficiently:Light Intensity Affects:Fruit Color and Size

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Harvest Sunlight Efficiently:Light Intensity Affects:Fruit Color and Size

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Harvest Sunlight Efficiently:Light Intensity and Fruit Size

% Light Penetration

Fruit size (grams)

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Harvest Sunlight Efficiently:Light Intensity and Fruit Distribution

% Light Penetration

% Fruit Distribution

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Harvest Sunlight Efficiently:Light Intensity and Fruit Flavor

% Light Penetration

% Soluble Solids

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Harvest Sunlight Efficiently

  • Maximize Orchard Floor Covered with Canopy

  • Limit canopy depth to 3 feet

    • Expose all parts of the canopy with at least 50% sunlight

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Balanced Renewal

D. Maintain ProductivitySustain maximum bearing area for maximal time

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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D. Maintain Productivity

  • Maintain light distribution in canopy

  • Remove unproductive wood

  • Maintain good vegetative:fruit balance

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Maintain Productivity:Maintain light distribution in canopy

  • Only sun-exposed areas produce quality fruit

  • Limit canopy depth to 3’

  • Control tree size

    • Unless control tree size the fruit moves up every year

    • Lower part of tree will be shaded

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Maintain Productivity:Remove Unproductive Wood

  • Fruiting wood which hangs down

  • Fruiting wood which is shaded

  • Water sprouts and root suckers

  • Diseased or damaged wood

  • Weak or thin wood

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Maintain Productivity:Remove Unproductive Wood

  • Remove weak or thin wood

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Maintain Productivity:Remove Unproductive Wood

  • Remove weak or thin wood

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Maintain Productivity:Maintain good vegetative:fruit balance

  • Thin out excessively vigorous vegetative growth during summer

  • Allows light into center of tree

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Maintain Productivity:Maintain good vegetative:fruit balance

  • Remove excessive fruiting wood

  • In peaches - remove 40-60% of new fruiting wood each year

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Conclusions:How should you train your trees?

  • Many approaches work

  • Open center is most common for peaches

  • Central leader is most common for pome fruit

  • Find a program that works and stick to it

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Conclusions:How should you train your trees?

  • Keep in mind the four objectives

  • Establish a strong tree framework

  • Facilitate management of tree and crop

  • Harvest sunlight efficiently

  • Maintain productivity by balanced renewal

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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What Tools Are Used in Tree Training?


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Tools used in Tree Training

  • Manipulation of apical dominance

  • Controlled by the plant hormone auxin

  • Produced by actively growing shoots

  • Moves down the branch with gravity

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Effects of auxin

  • Inhibits lateral bud break

  • Inhibits lateral shoot growth

  • Affects branch angle

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Heading Cut

Remove part of the branch

Stimulate bud break near cut

Stimulate localized branching

PruningRemove the Source of Auxin

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Hedging = Heading Cuts

  • Initially it opens up the canopy

  • Since heading cuts

  • Stimulate lateral bud break

  • Vigorous vegetative growth creates a dense canopy

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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PruningRemove the Source of Auxin

  • Thinning cut

  • Remove branch at point of origin

  • Least invigorating cut

  • Promote light penetration into canopy

  • Maintenance pruning

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Bend Branch Towards Horizontal

  • Decreases amount of auxin moving from tip

Bend to a 45 to 60 degree angle

  • Increase lateral branching

  • Decrease terminal growth

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Bend Branch Towards Horizontal

  • Decreases amount of auxin moving from tip

Bend below the horizontal

  • Increase lateral branching

  • Buds at highest point break

  • Decrease terminal growth

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Timing of pruning

  • Dormant pruning

    • Most common approach

  • Summer pruning

    • Works well in combination with dormant pruning

    • Open up the tree to allow light into center

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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Pruning Response Varies with Tree

  • Different varieties/crops grow differently

    • Spur types in apples

  • Vigor level of the tree

    • Age of the tree

    • Rootstock

    • Fertility/irrigation/soil constraints

  • Small fruited vs. large fruited crops

HORT 319 - Temperate Fruit and Nut Production


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