I’ve been rereading the One Straw Revolution and listening to Paul’s podcasts with Larry Korn, and a question has come up that I hope someone here can help me clarify.
Fukuoka writes that the natural state of a tree is best, and that even the smallest human alteration to a sapling will necessitate pruning and other care for its entire lifetime. However, it seems obvious that for fruittrees, grafting is the only way to go to get consistently good trees unless you have a large acreage and can afford to have some lemons. Larry even mentions in the podcast that Fukuoka was mostly growing specific grafted varieties of citrus for the market, while also mixing in trees grown from seed for genetic diversity and food for the wildlife.
So, how does this compute? Can a grafted tree actually grow into its natural form, or was Fukuoka only referring to trees grown from seed? (And thus pruning and giving other additional care to his grafted trees)
Great question and one I have been wondering about too! Years ago we (inadvertently) grew some peach trees from seed and the peach trees were looking good but had not produced when we moved away (the trees were 2 years old when we moved). Someone told me she thinks the peach trees produce good fruit and she doesn't think the trees are fertilized or sprayed but this person was not certain. I would like to grow some peach trees now but I'm hesitant because there do not seem to be any disease resistant varieties. Everyone I know who grows them down here (north Louisiana) says you have to spray to get produce. I think it's difficult to purchase a fruit tree that has not already been pruned unless you are very patient and want to try seeds. I have an urban garden so, like you, I don't have room to trial many trees. I hope you get some good responses to your question.