Good Fruit Grower

August 1

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 46 of 63 Good Fruit Grower AUGUST 2015 47 York. Welsh said he's been learning from New York grower Rod Farrow, who had been hedging for several years. Farrow refers to the fruiting wall can- opy as a "box," by which he means the predetermined area within which the canopy will be maintained. Hedging is used to eliminate wood that is outside the box. Welsh said he's adopted that prin- ciple because the idea of the box helps pruners to more accurately maintain the narrow canopy within the space. Most of the plantings Welsh is hedging are trained as narrow slender spindles. Some blocks have multi-leader trees, with anywhere from two to five leaders, with rows 10 feet apart. Others are spaced 2 or 2.5 feet apart on angled trellises with 12 feet between rows. "Every year, I'm becoming more con- vinced that the narrower the tree is, with the multi-leader system, the better sun- light penetration I will have and the bet- ter fruit quality I will have," he said. "The caveat is sunburn issues because of our heat, but I'm convinced every year that it's an easier system. Pruning is so much easier, maintenance is so much easier, and spraying is so much more efficient." Welsh said he's used hedging during the dormant season (January and February) to shape the trees and estab- lish the fruiting wall, but he's also doing mechanical pruning in early summer in an attempt to stimulate more fruit bud development for the following year. "The result of that was promising," he said. "I went out in the field and saw where we had short dard (lateral shoot) development and some—though not all of them—created new fruit buds. So, if you have the right timing, you may have increased fruit set the following season, depending on variety." He also is starting to see another bene- fit, which is the elimination of blind wood in the inner canopy. • PHOTO COURTESY KAREN LEWIS, WSU

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - August 1