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size of the permaculture orchard

 
gardener
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Size matters, what size trees do you grow, for what reasons and how do you do it?
 
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William Bronson wrote: Size matters, what size trees do you grow, for what reasons and how do you do it?


William I grow dwarf trees to reach 12-15' max. Reason is we sell by upick so smaller trees are safer since we do not let members use ladders. How do we get trees to that size only? We use dwarfing rootstock m-26 for apples and train pears and plums to limit their size.
 
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Stefan how do you train the pears? I have seen videos on pruning plums to keep them at 6-8 feet tall and may try that on some of my ones closer to the house that I intend to harvest for our use. Most standard mature pear trees I know of are in the 30 foot range or more. What are your opinions on the new dwarfing pear rootstocks?
 
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Paul,
In the video he shows a way of training by bending the branches to below horizontal. This stimulates fruit production and limits vegetative growth.
He does the same with the tops of the pear trees to limit their height.
 
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Cool. I knew he did that with the normally smaller trees. It is interesting that it works with pears. Does he cut off the central leader and just bend down the laterals? Hopefully US Snail will bring my DVD soon.
 
Rj Ewing
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I believe he just bends it down
 
Stefan Sobkowiak
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Paul Ewing wrote:Stefan how do you train the pears? I have seen videos on pruning plums to keep them at 6-8 feet tall and may try that on some of my ones closer to the house that I intend to harvest for our use. Most standard mature pear trees I know of are in the 30 foot range or more. What are your opinions on the new dwarfing pear rootstocks?


Paul I learned AFTER starting to train all my fruit in this technique that pears respond differently. DO NOT train them BELOW horizontal but only TO HORIZONTAL. I was very fortunate to learn from the lead author in 2009 his techniques and also very fortunate to host the 2nd author at our orchard for a special one day course on Biodiversity in the orchard. Here's the book that started it all: http://www.amazon.fr/De-taille-conduite-arbres-fruitiers/dp/2812602287
 
Stefan Sobkowiak
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Rj Ewing wrote:Paul,
In the video he shows a way of training by bending the branches to below horizontal. This stimulates fruit production and limits vegetative growth.
He does the same with the tops of the pear trees to limit their height.


Yes RJ I do that for the top only on pears. Branches to horizontal only.
 
Paul Ewing
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Stefan Sobkowiak wrote:

Paul Ewing wrote:Stefan how do you train the pears? I have seen videos on pruning plums to keep them at 6-8 feet tall and may try that on some of my ones closer to the house that I intend to harvest for our use. Most standard mature pear trees I know of are in the 30 foot range or more. What are your opinions on the new dwarfing pear rootstocks?


Paul I learned AFTER starting to train all my fruit in this technique that pears respond differently. DO NOT train them BELOW horizontal but only TO HORIZONTAL. I was very fortunate to learn from the lead author in 2009 his techniques and also very fortunate to host the 2nd author at our orchard for a special one day course on Biodiversity in the orchard. Here's the book that started it all: http://www.amazon.fr/De-taille-conduite-arbres-fruitiers/dp/2812602287



Unfortunately my French is pretty poor. I could stumble my way around Montreal when I was on a project there, but there is no way I could get through a technical book. I did notice that the US Amazon has this book by the same authors http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Fruit-Trees-Successful-Management/dp/0393732568 Do you think that it might be useful to someone doing a small 5-10 acre orchard?
 
Stefan Sobkowiak
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Paul Ewing wrote:

Stefan Sobkowiak wrote:

Paul Ewing wrote:Stefan how do you train the pears? I have seen videos on pruning plums to keep them at 6-8 feet tall and may try that on some of my ones closer to the house that I intend to harvest for our use. Most standard mature pear trees I know of are in the 30 foot range or more. What are your opinions on the new dwarfing pear rootstocks?


Paul I learned AFTER starting to train all my fruit in this technique that pears respond differently. DO NOT train them BELOW horizontal but only TO HORIZONTAL. I was very fortunate to learn from the lead author in 2009 his techniques and also very fortunate to host the 2nd author at our orchard for a special one day course on Biodiversity in the orchard. Here's the book that started it all: http://www.amazon.fr/De-taille-conduite-arbres-fruitiers/dp/2812602287



Unfortunately my French is pretty poor. I could stumble my way around Montreal when I was on a project there, but there is no way I could get through a technical book. I did notice that the US Amazon has this book by the same authors http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Fruit-Trees-Successful-Management/dp/0393732568 Do you think that it might be useful to someone doing a small 5-10 acre orchard?


The link to the book is fantastic. I didn't realize it was translated. Yes it will certainly become a classic. The info is superb.
 
pollinator
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Hi Stefan,
(I just watched your documentary and enjoyed it so much!) are the French and English versions really the same book? Because I was considering buying the English version
Is this the only written documentation that there is in English regarding the training of fruit trees with this method?
Regards
 
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William Bronson wrote: Size matters, what size trees do you grow, for what reasons and how do you do it?



I grow and prune to keep fruit within reach, planning to keep almost all my non-nut trees under 10 ft. I have been prefering semi-dwarfs, but purchase dwarfs and standards when they are on sale.

Another thing I do is I plant them about 10 ft apart on average, some farther apart though. Supposedly that'll help long-term restricting growth.

My orchard is about 40 trees, and the oldest few trees are only 5 yrs old, so I might be messing myself up long-term.
 
Jamin Grey
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Stefan Sobkowiak wrote:
Paul I learned AFTER starting to train all my fruit in this technique that pears respond differently. DO NOT train them BELOW horizontal but only TO HORIZONTAL



What do you mean by this? Could you elaborate?

I'm planning on pruning my pears in a vase shape, is that not good?
 
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As Stefan has not been here in a while, I'll take a stab at answering. I think he means when training the limbs of pears to only bend them to a horizontal position. Do not make the tips point to the ground as doing so triggers a growth pattern that he does not want.

I'm pretty sure that this is covered in his movie, available for rent or sale here.
 
Jamin Grey
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Oh thank you, that's what I hoped he meant. Are there any common fruit trees where I'd *want* the branches to descend below horizontal?

One of my apples was doing that, so I pruned back those branches about 1/3rd to allow them to grow more before carrying that weight.
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