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never prune technique of holzer and fukuoka

 
paul wheaton
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My understanding is that if you start to prune a tree (especially a fruit tree) that the tree will die an early death if you do not keep on pruning it. 

In both systems, a central leader is not only preferred, but it is what the tree naturally does on its own. 

With no pruning, the tree has branches right next to the ground.  Big branches.  And rather than a lollipop shape, the tree has more of a pyramid shape.

With that kind of shape, I would think that very little would be able to grow on the ground immediately under such a tree.

I asked Josef Holzer about pruning.  He said that if they came across a tree that had some sort of serious problem and they had the right sort of tool in their pocket right then, then, yes, they would do a bit of pruning.  But most trees are never pruned in any way. 

Fukuoka writes that he tried to not prune the citrus when he first returned to his fathers farm and he then had all sorts of problems.    Newer citrus looks more like a shrub and is not pruned.

If anybody has any information to add to this, I would really appreciate it.





 
                                
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I am no expert in fruit trees, but I do have some experience with apple and plum. I think that even if you want to "never prune" you will end up pruning at the end of each season.

This is why.

Ok so you let your 5yr old fruit tree go another 3 years without cutting, and you now have very heavy production. Oops there is a late summer/fall gale and you just lost a limb. Now what are you going to do? Trim up the broken limb? Thin out the other branches? Oh...you noticed a couple of crossing branches, rubbing a lot are they? Looks like you are going to get busy with that pruning saw.

Before you know it you will have pruned yourself a very respectable heavy cropping specimen.

So Holzer is probably right. Not much need for pruning if you are constantly doing light pruning all the time. Betcha you will see most of his trees conforming to the standard forms.

You have to remember that the cultivars we use are selected for the fruit qualities only. I doubt any effort goes into selection for form. Form will have to come from pruning or maybe stunting growth by grafting onto a "pygmy" root stock.

Having said that, there is no need to be constrained by convention. Try it! You are recommended to make an open vase?...try a central leader. Peach as a tree? why not prune heavily and make a hedge? Tell us how it goes.

Too many Americans take Fukuoka's terminology "do nothing" far too literally. I think that the "do nothing" phrase is just used as a shock phrase to grab the typical Japanese persons attention. Remember this is the country that rather than saying "well done man!" they say "Ganbatte kudasai", work harder!!

All the best,

Thomas
 
paul wheaton
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Holzer does pretty much the same thing, but he does not use the words "do nothing".

I think what they both advocate is something where you can, literally, do zero pruning.  Never prune.  On ungrafted trees. 

I think fukuoka makes a point of saying that once you start, you need to keep on pruning. 

I think holzer's approach is more that if the tree needs pruning then you should take the whole tree out - or let nature de-select the tree. 


 
                              
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Knowing pretty much noting of the original writings this discussion is bassed on........
Here I go jumping in.

I know there are books about raising different types of fruit that would say and such and such season you go out and spray the tree with this, and then at this other time you go out and dump fertilizer all around the tree and next you spray the tree for something else then you use such and such manure as fertilizer and so on including what time of the year to go out and prune along with specific instructions on how to prune.

My usual method with lots of plants so far is if I notice something like a broken branch or more likely a branch that always gets tangled in my hair or knocks my hat off, then I prune it.  If it bugs me, I prune it, otherwise I leave it alone.  Then again, this is the second year we have had to use posts to support the grapefruit and tangerine limbs as they are over heavy with fruit and threatening to break the limbs.  I guess the citrus likes us running the chickens under them.
 
Brenda Groth
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i'm not big on pruning unless a tree is very overcrowded and needs to be thinned out..or if there are rubbing or damaged limbs, or diseased of course, that need to be removed.

then there are the cases where trees are trained to live in a small area..such as on a trellis or fence..in those cases maybe the only way to have the tree, is to be able to prune it to fit your lifestyle..and sometimes those kinds of trees can live to be very old.

there are also bonsai ...which can live to be several hundred years old and they are obviously pruned.
 
larry korn
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Good discussion!  I'll add what I can about Fukuoka's ideas about pruning.  Paul is correct that Fukuoka prefers that trees grow to their natural form without pruning.  He got this idea after he left previously pruned trees to grow on their own and they did very poorly or died.  Then he asked the question, "What is the natural form of a tree?"  To find the answer he went to the forest and observed trees growing in the wild. For the most part they have a main single leader with branches growing out in whorls or in an opposite pattern.

He said that people these days have probably never seen the natural form of a domestic fruit tree because they have been so highly bred over the centuries, but he assumed that their form would be similar to their wild counterparts.  Most of our current fruit trees have been bred to have a heavy load of large, sweet fruit.  It's no wonder that many of them have problems with branches being overloaded and breaking off.

More to come...
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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My reading of The Natural Way of Farming left me with the understanding that the word "pruning" as used for that book meant cutting a developed limb (especially one thick enough to require a saw), and that the author was completely OK with judicious use of a thumbnail.

It was also very clear that cloned trees would need to be carefully persuaded to adopt a form that even resembles a natural one, based on the "confused" shape that inevitably results from grafting etc.

Did I understand these points correctly?
 
larry korn
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Yes.  Fukuoka did not consider snipping as pruning.  Remember trees become misshapen for a number of natural reasons as well, like damage from animals, snow burden, wind and so forth.  That damage, of course should be attended to.  The trees will need attention to a greater or lesser degree forever after that.  Oh, well.  But he would be fine with snipping a branch that was getting in the way such as knocking ones hat off as they went by.  Pruning refers to the structure of the tree.

For permaculturists it is important to choose varieties that are rugged and grow easily in the given conditions.  If we choose to grow trees that are geared simply to high yields of popular the popular varieties of fruit without regard to form and hardiness the outcome will be more work in one way or another.   
 
Fred Morgan
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Pruning is often used to open up the tree so more energy goes into fruit, making larger, sweeter fruit. Limbs being shaded by other limbs really aren't helping much and can be removed. You either remove the above limb, or below. Normally above unless you want to harvest with a cherry picker!

The fruit will generally be on the limbs that are exposed to sunlight, so if you don't prune, guess where the fruit will be? Good for the birds, not so good if you want some apples for yourself.

Wood trees by the way are pruned the opposite of fruit trees. We do a lot of both.

Remember, almost every fruit tree you have is not natural. Large sweet apples aren't what you get in nature, you would get crab apples.

You take out the central leader mainly because you don't like to harvest with a cherry picker. 

If you want to see how well not pruning works, find an abandoned orchard. There will be almost no fruit. Also, not pruning will often get you in a bi-annual pattern of harvest. Huge harvest one year, almost nothing the next. This is because a huge harvest will exhaust the tree so much it won't put on many flowers the next year.

All of this is from my observations of fruit trees by the way - and we have a lot of them!
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Fred:

In the book, Fukuoka advocates removing buds so that the tree grows in a way that no limbs are shaded, and the limbs themselves allow one to easily climb near the top to harvest fruit. Easy climbing means a tractor (or cherry picker) can't drive under the lowest limbs, though.

He draws quite a few recommended shapes to work toward, based on the family of tree in question, and acknowledges that it will take careful attention to shape a nursery tree in such a way.

Holzer's method sounds entirely different, from what Paul has written: fruit that grows on high branches seems to function as reserve pig/chicken feed.

Edit: fixed typo
 
paul wheaton
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Joel,

My impression is that it is the same for fukuoka:  the higher stuff is for feeding your stock. 

Fred,

there are certainly trade-offs.  Perhaps it would be good to start a thread in the "organic practices" forum to discuss traditional pruning techniques. 

As for smaller fruit:  that is due to a large variety of factors, including pruning.  But I do know that this technique also has large fruit.
 
paul wheaton
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I created a new thread in the organic practices forum about traditional pruning.

While I think it is fair to contrast these "never prune" techniques with the traditional techniques, what I really want to do in this thread, is fully explore the "never prune" techniques. 

 
Fred Morgan
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One thing that is standard is to prune as soon as you can, the earlier the better. It is much nicer if you can just rub off the bud. I guess you could say that isn't pruning, but I don't know of any forester who would think it isn't. Most of our pruning is done on very young wood, you don't want to be lopping off limbs normally. If you are cutting more than 2 inches, you have waited too long is the conventional wisdom.

One issue with over pruning is waterspouts. It is what you want to avoid. A method of just rubbing off buds would definitely help in that issue.

I am not trying to disagree by the way, but really, if you are training the tree, aren't you pruning? You all have managed to confuse me I think. 
 
paul wheaton
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Here is my feeble attempt to draw what is in my head.

The tree on the left is traditional.

The tree on the right is what I would call "never prune" according to stuff advocated by holzer and fukuoka. 

The idea is that rather than having 40 trees that you carefully prune, you have 100 trees and you might prune 20 of those - but even those 20 would receive 10 times less pruning over their life than any of the 40 in the first scenario. 

The idea is to not train them - in any fashion.  They naturally have a central leader.  They naturally have a poor leaf to bark ratio. 


trees_no_prune.gif
[Thumbnail for trees_no_prune.gif]
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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paul wheaton wrote:The idea is to not train them - in any fashion. 


I recall Fukuoka doing that for trees grown from seed, as a way of ascertaining their natural form.

But nursery-grown trees, cloned from varieties that he could sell, seemed to be a different story. My reading suggested that he intervened early on, and as subtly as possible, to bring these trees into a shape that imitated the seed-grown trees.

I'm also completely certain he talked about spiral-staircase branches allowing one to pick fruit from high up.
 
Brenda Groth
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my "seed grown" apple trees definately grow differently than the purchased grafted and pre pruned trees..they do seem to have a more natural form, and of course unless they are some sort of self dwarfing variety they will be larger than a grafted tree.

they however will still require removal of damaged or too close branches..and it is true that as they get "elderly" the apples are best at the top of the tree.

climbing is easier on a seed grown adult tree yes, but they can be very crowded inside the tree.

as for wild trees growing crabapples..that seems like hogwash to me, crabapple trees grow crabapples !!
 
paul wheaton
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
I'm also completely certain he talked about spiral-staircase branches allowing one to pick fruit from high up.


That's the first I have heard of something like that!  That sounds freaky cool!  Can you start a new thread on that?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I started a new thread on this forum, per Paul's request, on no-saw/no-loppers trees that can be picked right to the top, even with a healthy central leader.
 
larry korn
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Fukuoka believes that unpruned, or minimally pruned, trees in the long run is is in the best interest of nature and therefore people.  The commonly used techniques of pruning are mainly to make the trees easy to harvest and get maximum yields.  While Fukuoka was a commercial farmer and yields were important, it was not the most important factor.  He never cared if he couldn't get to the top of the tree to harvest all the fruit.  The rest was left to wildlife.

If you use the common techniques and prune low and wide, or in a vase, etc. there will be consequences...perhaps weaker trees and branches structurally, more disease problems and so forth, but one thing is for sure, it will mean more work overall for the orchardist.

That's a good question about seedlings grown from seed and not grafted.  Thoughts anyone?
 
                    
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This is a fascinating thread to me as I have been asking myself and the trees I live with the same questions.

I have about a dozen heritage trees from the previousowner of the property, including apples, cherry, and pear; i've laso planted apples, cherries, pears and plums over the last 3 years. I have perhaps 18 or 20 trees, a dozen or so of which were established 15-20 years ago.

I also have 4 walnuts 5-12 years old, and a few brand new american chestnuts.

I'd like to triple or quadruple this.

I don't have much experience with Fukuoka-san aside from reading One Straw Revolution and the pleasure of meeting Larry last year. I met Sepp, and we talked for maybe 15 minutes via his translator, so it was fairly rough. I have not had the chance to read his work.

I have had almost 20 years experience with Japanese culture through martial arts and zen practice. Thomas wrote:
tc20852 wrote:

I think this is correct. In Aikido, we use "do nothing" to mean "do nothing special" or "do nothing extra" almost the same way the colloquial "no frontin' " is used in Hip Hop Culture. It means to drop pretences and simply harmonize. This is essential in martial practice as 'fronting'- or putting up a false front- creates a vaccum between the 'fronter' and the conflict. And we all know how nature feels about a vaccum- once a 'front' is filled in martial arts, the bout is decided.

As a parallel, to be out of synch with a tree, to impose design, rather than harmonize with the trees integral and essential structure, means creating places that disease, breakage and other trauma issues will occur.

of course, this kind of intuition requires a great deal of time; after 20 years in a traditional martial arts practice one is considered merely a determined and commited BEGINNER.

My practice with trees is only a few years old now, and I have the privilege of comparing trees in close proximity which are both heavily pruned from day one and the trees I plant now, which I will "do nothing" too;

And the truth is that i also "do nothing" to the trees that I prune in a conventional manner- I am simply harmonizing with the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the form they were forced into at an early age. I cannot "fix" them, I simply work to realize the potential they have according to my best knowledge, which you all contribute to, and intuition, which is enlivened by conversations with the trees themselves.

Thank you for your knowledge and thoughts on this subject! I hope my understanding of "do nothing", as it comes to me through Aikido and Zen practice, helps to clarify some of the meaning that is so often lost in translation.
 
larry korn
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Hey Deston,  Nice to hear from you.  I appreciate and enjoyed your important contribution to this discussion.  It is not surprising that Fukuoka's agricultural techniques are in synch with Asian and other spiritual practices.  All the Japanese arts grow from the same "do-nothing" attitude.  The spirit eventually flows through you effortlessly.  Easier said than done, of course.

Many people have assumed that Sensei's agriculture and philosophy are based on Zen, Taoism, or whatever.  "No," he argued, "it is simply farming."  Paraphrasing, he said that farming was intrinsically no better than any other way of making a living, but in farming you are always working within nature so the farmer has a better opportunity of glimpsing the perfection of nature.  It also provides you with food.  "If you meditate all the time someone else has to provide you with food."
 
Travis Philp
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Fred Morgan wrote:

If you want to see how well not pruning works, find an abandoned orchard. There will be almost no fruit.


There is a big difference between completely unpruned fruit trees grown from seed, and abandoned orchard trees as Fukuoka and others have pointed out.
 
                    
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Great thread!  I love reading all the Fukuoka inspired ideas in this and the other threads about his ideas. 

Most of our old apples appear have a central leader, but they seem to have been been pollarded by grazers (no lower branches) and have been "pruned" by bears pulling off branches. 

*EDIT* After looking at them all again, what I just said is not true at all.  At around the same age of life each of them was made to have a fork of two main branches, and most of them have had one of those broken off, creating a hole that eventually rots the whole trunk.  The largest, healthiest tree out there has both of its main branches, and it's magnificent.  I can see how two main trunks growing away from each other would strain the tree eventually.  I'm guessing it was done for maximum production at their peak of life. 

Trees of all kinds have branches broken off all the time, either by other trees falling on them, over loaded snow, etc.  The spikey leftovers of a broken branch act as a water trap and introduce disease to the trunk, usually leading to a hole or at least a scar.  Maybe Fukuoka's point was to intervene when needed and leave well enough alone the rest of the time. 

It's a nice idea, growing a fruit tree from seed and just watch it do what it wants, but the risk factor about that seed variety being a not good to eat one after you've waited a decade to see what it will do seems not worth the wait, to me. 

A good place to experience what natural, no-prune trees look like is to go for a walk in the woods.  Our domesticated varieties have evolved with human hands as the guides.  We find random apple and cherry trees in the woods pretty frequently around here, from bears pooping out seeds, and usually they do not have fruit. 

If you want to see how well not pruning works, find an abandoned orchard. There will be almost no fruit.

Eh, sometimes.  The healthier specimens out in our orchard were positively loaded with apples this year and last, and they all produced at least a few, despite no human attention for decades (and they look that way).  Trees do not "need" pruning to fruit, I think it's more a matter of maximizing yield and making an easy harvest.

I can't find the quote (I guess a japanese translation means it's going to be a paraphrase anyway), but I love so much Fukuoka's phrase that the act of farming is actually cultivating the perfection of human beings....(or something like that)
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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I get the Fedco seed and nursery catalogs each year (you can view them on-line, also), and have found the descriptions of their apple trees very interesting.  I hadn't realized how many different shapes and sizes *standard* apple trees come in.  I imagine most of these are grafted trees, but if you want to know what kind of apples you are going to get, you can't plant seedlings (at least not all seedlings).  Anyway, the descriptions in the Fedco catalog would be worth reading just to see some of the variation possible in one kind of fruit (they do describe other types of fruit trees, also, but because they are a northern New England company, apples are their biggest category).

Kathleen
 
larry korn
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Fukuoka does not grow his commercial trees from seed.  He uses known varieties which often have been grafted.  It is a commercial orchard, afterall.  But he uses varieties which have a characteristic form which grow well with a minimum of pruning.  And he insists that the nursery not clip the main leader.  Most of the "pruning" he does is the result of accidental problems such as those you have mentioned (naturally broken branches, excessive snow load, browsing by animals, etc.)  It helps that he goes through the orchard in the early summer and reduces the weight on the branches by picking off fruit from potentially overloaded branches.

As for abandon orchard trees producing well anyway, some fruits and varieties do better than others.  Apples usually do much better than other fruits.  It also depends on how the trees were pruned before the orchard was abandoned.
 
Chelle Lewis
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marinajade wrote:
I can't find the quote (I guess a japanese translation means it's going to be a paraphrase anyway), but I love so much Fukuoka's phrase that the act of farming is actually cultivating the perfection of human beings....(or something like that)

I also loved his way of simplifying life down to important essentials. I have the quote:
"When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings."
— Masanobu Fukuoka (One-Straw Revolution)
I think he is right. There is something about farming that humbles and enlarges the human spirit.... restores a quietness of soul that enlarges until it must give to those outside and beyond who need it. I see his life like that.
 
Travis Philp
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I dunno about that humbling business Cyara. I've run into many a cocky, know-it-all farmer at conventions and such 
 
larry korn
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It's all about learning to love oneself.  That is never explicitly stated, but I believe it lies at the core.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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It's been mentioned here before, but "humility" has the same origin as "humus."

I guess living systems remind us that we are dirt.

If you have an extremely high opinion of dirt, that might make you cocky.
 
larry korn
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Even the title of Fukuoka's book speaks to this.  If people only understood the value of straw it could start a revolution that would change the destructive momentum of modern agriculture.  He means this literally...straw is crucial to his method of farming, and also figuratively.  We should notice and appreciate even the most insignificant things.  Straw is considered pretty insignificant in Japan as elsewhere.  Yes, it is a humble way of seeing the world.

Although immensely talented as a farmer and writer, Fukuoka was not a full-of-himself guy.  "There's nothing special about me, but the understanding I was given is vastly important."

Hey, Joel,  how are things in the East Bay?  Before I moved to Ashland, Oregon 2 years ago I lived in Oakland and Berkeley for 25 years...Santa Cruz before that.
 
Paul Cereghino
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New here... Hi

I think this conversation needs to be field tested.

Individuals vary their shape based on both local conditions and genetics.  I think it is very 'Japanesque' to look for the perfect specimen that reflects its undistorted potential.

In a forest setting deer, wind, disease, shade, and likely other factors steer trees from some human concept of 'genetic course'.

Some trees let go of apical dominance young (peaches..).  I suspect some selections for fruit are piss poor in natural branching disposition (as mentioned previously).

What the tree experiences is life... we are the ones who are feeling discontent with its shape (zen referencing comment for the day.)

height of bottom branches is driven by self pruning.  Are the leaves producing enough light to pay the roots for services rendered?  Thus low branches is a characteristic of sun grown trees.

If you are growing full size trees on own roots why not try natural form?  You'll be relying on shaking for most harvest anyway?

Its very hard to get un-pruned seedlings unless you grow them yourself.

I have an old apple tree and get enough apples for drying, cooking and eating by climbing and with a 10' orchard ladder--The rest get shaken for cider and vinegar--its a natural balance of use.

I only grow chickens for stock, the windfall attract deer which prune without regard for spiritual potential.

For zone 1 and 2 and most urban and sub-urban sites I'll go for the Frankenstein trees to meet my food needs.  Form follows function.

The idea that you can harvest a full size tree by climbing is interesting.  I can imagine it when full grown, but not as a youngster.  But then again, I have a good imagination.  Has anyone seen this mythical creature?

You probably need to make the decision within the first 2-5 years of a trees life... I look at some of my trees and 'corrective' pruning would be terrible.






 
larry korn
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All your points are well taken, Paul.  No one, including Fukuoka, expects perfection.  How unnatural that would be.  A tree that is damaged by snow, wind browsers and so forth is as perfect as the one that happens to escape those things.  And, yes, some orchard trees do better with no or minimum pruning than others.  Peaches, as you said, are more difficult, pears are wonderful if left unpruned.  Many of the famous pear orchards here in the Rogue Valley were grown unpruned in the commercial orchards for generations.

The yield of Fukuoka's no-prune citrus trees is remarkable.  That may have as much to do with his soil building groundcover plants as anything else.  I don't know.  He is happy with what he harvests and is happy to leave fruit for wildlife.  Much of the discussion about Fukuoka's no-pruning techniques revolves around the idea of maximizing yield.  He just wasn't that interested in that.  He was interested in maximizing the yield in the rice/barley fields, however, since that is the standard by which farms are evaluated in Japan and he wanted to show that he could at least match the yields of the most productive industrial farms without plowing, using chemicals, tractors and so forth.
 
Paul Cereghino
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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I have been staring at my 5 year old pair of pear trees for most of this winter, contemplating what it would take to bring them back to a single central leader.  I would love to see a naturally grown pear!  Does anyone have any pictures?  I have always seen old pears that look like they were rigorously pruned into an umbrella, then let go, and 4-10 leaders compete, resulting in a form that I find uncomfortable for a number of reasons.  These are being grown on OHF33 rootstock as well, and I don't know to what extent rootstock messes with natural form...
PRC
 
larry korn
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I'm not sure what the overall effect of rootstock is on the natural form of a pear tree is either.  The old pears around here that have not been pruned do not come out strictly as a single-leader form.  They develop into a fountain at the top with several main trunks.  They really are quite beautiful.  Of course many pear trees around here are pruned in youth as well.
 
rose macaskie
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        I have fund the photo of my crazy brother inlwaws unprunned apple tree. It grew from seed just next to a stump of an elm and took a while to get started i thought that was the stumps fault and I once descretely cut a branch or two off it, i wanted to prune it so it wuold give shade to the out door lunch table, it being well placed to do so but my brother in law does not touch the trees or want them touched  in what is really his mothers though it is treated as his, garden.
        The branches did not grow downwards, it is the fruit that pulled them down and afterwards they just went on growin that way.
    I turned out to be pretty cool that he did not prune the tree as it was interesting to see the shape of the unprunned tree.
      It gives lots of apples, maybe not the best in the world but alright. rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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A photo from the side of the same apple tree.
  this garden is in a village that is 1400metres above sea level in the sierra of Gredos where though the sun shines fiercly during the day the nights are always cold. rose.
natural apple tree 2.jpg
[Thumbnail for natural apple tree 2.jpg]
 
rose macaskie
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  there is another apple tree in this garden an old apple tree  that evidently was heavily prunned sometime in the past, before i new the tree and it is  a mass of sucker of branches growing straight upwards off the main branches, a sort of thicket of suckers groiwng off its limbs and that tree has made me suspiciouse of prunning.
      When in the end i read a book on prunning and it mentioned one choice of time of year for prunning being summer, before the leaves started to turn and the sap to get stored in the roots so that it the branches you had prunned off it had not had a chance to send down all their sap to the roots lessening the trees energy to send up suckers in spring  it seemed a good idea to me.
THe book also said that in summer wneh the tree isnot dormant it can cure its wounds quicker. 
i have climbed right up a copper beach  as a teenager,b the branches seemed to be fairly regualarly spaced, a big one but not out down each of its branches. agri rose macaskie.
 
Chelle Lewis
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paul wheaton wrote:
My understanding is that if you start to prune a tree (especially a fruit tree) that the tree will die an early death if you do not keep on pruning it. 

In both systems, a central leader is not only preferred, but it is what the tree naturally does on its own. 

With no pruning, the tree has branches right next to the ground.  Big branches.  And rather than a lollipop shape, the tree has more of a pyramid shape.

With that kind of shape, I would think that very little would be able to grow on the ground immediately under such a tree.

I asked Josef Holzer about pruning.  He said that if they came across a tree that had some sort of serious problem and they had the right sort of tool in their pocket right then, then, yes, they would do a bit of pruning.  But most trees are never pruned in any way. 

Fukuoka writes that he tried to not prune the citrus when he first returned to his fathers farm and he then had all sorts of problems.    Newer citrus looks more like a shrub and is not pruned.

If anybody has any information to add to this, I would really appreciate it.
I have a peach that was bought from the nursery this year... pruned.... and another one I discovered while pushing out my Food Forest that is not pruned and obviously a few years old. It must have come up from a pip... and I have no idea what kind of peach it is. You are right about the shape... the branches come right from the bottom. I will be leaving it alone for now and just watching and comparing the 2 trees. This no-prune idea is fascinating. Do you think even just a little pruning at ground level will shorten the life of the tree.... if don't keep it up?

Chelle
 
Aljaz Plankl
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larry korn wrote:That's a good question about seedlings grown from seed and not grafted.  Thoughts anyone?

They produce the same fruit, though there are some things to consider. Trees do cross pollinate, so you are never sure if the fruit will be the same if many apple trees grow together. And another thing, you want to get seeds from the tree that hasn't been grafted, because you will get characteristics of rootstock. Where i live there are many old trees, non grafted and they produce really good fruit. I will save these seeds a lot! Apples, peaches, cherries, pears...
 
rose macaskie
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Dont you hand polinate if you want seeds that come true to type? I don't know how would you tie a bag on the branch and take it off to pollinate and then put the bag bakc on again to stop a bee coming an ddoing its own pollinating? agri rose macaskie.
 
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