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PRUNE OR NOT...HIGH OR LOW BRANCHES

 
John Devitt
Posts: 34
Location: Belfair WA
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Stephan,
I keep hearing debate over whether to prune or not. What is your opinion?

I have also heard that there is advantage to a higher canopy fruit tree. Let the animals browse though (in the fall and spring) to determine branch height and eat all the leaves and fruit fall. This will help break the pathogen/insect cycles and allow an area underneath for planting other items. I am leaning toward this method.

Thanks in advance for any comments and suggestions.
John
 
Stefan Sobkowiak
permaculture orchardist
Posts: 118
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John Devitt wrote:Stephan,
I keep hearing debate over whether to prune or not. What is your opinion?

I have also heard that there is advantage to a higher canopy fruit tree. Let the animals browse though (in the fall and spring) to determine branch height and eat all the leaves and fruit fall. This will help break the pathogen/insect cycles and allow an area underneath for planting other items. I am leaning toward this method.

Thanks in advance for any comments and suggestions.quote]
John I like Ben Falk's response from his book about such complex questions: "It depends"
It depends on your tree age, species, rootstock. Your objectives, harvest height, with or without a ladder, work load, time available in season, experience.... Site conditions: snow depth, slope,... You see there is no pat answer.
Look what orchardists are doing in your area and think about why they do it. In the film I show you the technique I learned from the best in the world. The researchers at INRA who developped the techniques. It's the simplest to master, can be taught in half a day. Watch the chapter 3 times to catch all the subtleties and then try it in season. But you have to know what you want.
I can disagree with Paul Wheaton and any one else. I've pruned 10,000's of trees, killed a few hundred and have mastered the subtleties. Experience counts in pruning but also an open mind.
I now prefer to train the trees (also in the film) as the French do rather than prune. But they are moving to a no or very low- pruning system as well. It's an evolving field with many depends.
 
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