Beth Mouse wrote:The Permaculture Orchard DVD talks about using wire to train fruit tree brances to bend down and stay angled down close to trunk and ground. My husband, whom is no expert in fruit tree care and nor am I, says this is the first he has heard of it and that he has never seen this in orchards or anywhere around here (Idaho). He wonders why more people aren't doing it if it is the better way I guess. Stefan on the DVD mentions that 2 French researchers he talked to recommended it. I told him I would research and ask more about whether this method is truly better than just pruning and if any of you does this.
J Blair wrote:thanks mike for your description of what you are doing. I have a lot of old cotton t-shirts I have been saving - I knew they would come in handy some day. Do you plan on doing anything to the top of the trees to keep their height "low"? I have trees drafted on semi-dwarf rootstock, and I am hoping to keep them at a height that won't require much ladder work, but I am not sure how to handle it (I have ordered the book you mentioned, maybe that will give me the info)
Mike Musialowski wrote:I'm soooo psyched that this topic has come up. My first pic shows massive vegetative growth (upwards branches that do not produce fruiting buds) in 3-4 year-old trees. Our various fruit trees have been happy and growing, but not producing much fruit. My initial reading about growing fruit said to avoid pruning in summer due to potential for disease. As a result half the branches looked like Manhattan! Pruning bulletins posted by land grant universities (including Cornell) made clear that this is all about hormones and that the best angle for a branch to produce fruiting buds was between 60 degrees from vertical to horizontal (ie, horizontal or slightly reaching for the sky). These would also produce stronger branches that wouldn't break under fruit load. But how to keep them growing that way?! I had watched The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic but I was skeptical due to the other resources that corroborated each other, but not The Quebec method.