Bryant RedHawk wrote:Reasons to prune a tree; To remove dead or dying branches.
To open the interior of the tree for better sunlight penetration and so better health of the tree.
To shape the tree more to the natural growth pattern of the species.
To shape the tree to a form you desire (as in the classical tree covered road or path, to be able to grow trees for food in less space than a normal orchard requires and for classical fruit trees to make harvest of fruit easier.).
To have more branches develop for more fruit production.
Neil Layton wrote:This is all good advice. Now, an important caveat is that I haven't tried implementing this in the orchard but I think it might be worthwhile to consider why trees respond to "pruning" in the first place. In general, this coincides with best practice for pruning in the first place. What I'm about to say also applies to coppicing and pollarding, and has implications for the cultivation of annuals in a forest garden. Most of us are used to habitats where the local megafauna has been wiped out. Those of us who don't fall into this category tend to try to keep it, or what's left of it, out. Now, I don't know enough about areas outside Europe to comment intelligently, but most of this will apply elsewhere.
Robert Jordan wrote: If memory serves he had a counter intuitive approach.
Robert Jordan wrote:I hope I haven't missed anything, but hadn't Mr Fukuoka some very specific things to say about pruning fruit trees. If memory serves he had a counter intuitive approach. I can't tell you what, because I don't have trees to learn on yet, but perhaps some student can lay hands on the book and quote from the brilliant Masanobu Fukuoka. RC
Ian Mack wrote:This is all from his Philosophy of Green Farming, by the way. He might advocate something different in One-Straw Revolution or his Trees in the Desert book, as I haven't had a chance to read them yet.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:As far as I have been able to find out tree pruning has been done for several hundred years, prior to that there isn't much mention of trimming a tree to any shape.
Pruning became a common practice around the same time formal gardens were coming into fashion with the royals as a way to show off their importance and financial status.
The French developed the methods of Espalier and pollarding specifically for fruit trees, these allowed for better crops of apples in the case of pollarding and they allowed the plum and pear trees to be grown along fence lines and walls in the case of the Espalier.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.