Good Fruit Grower

September 2016

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Page 34 of 55 Good Fruit Grower SEPTEMBER 2016 35 "With that dimension, our workers — who pick from platforms — can get to tree centers without the hin- drance of dominant branches," Woodworth said. In the fi rst three years, his crews perform dormant pruning to remove dominant branches. He limits renewal cuts to three per tree. "Three cuts is a rule of thumb," Woodworth said. "It's a stopgap for the prun- ers, which, if we do it this way consistently, allows us to keep the tree calm and helps to equalize its crop load every year." Hedging makes the point of regrowth at the same spot, away from the trunk. "We are limiting the opportunity for the tree to grow out and creating more opportunity for it to fi ll in empty spaces at our desired dimension," he said. They do the same hand-pruning in the fourth year but follow with mechanical pruning at dormancy, to set the box at 20 to 22 inches from the trunk. New shoots grow the following season and are hedged 22 to 24 inches from the trunk in late summer. • ONLINE Several growers who hosted the 2016 IFTA New York Study Tour at their orchards graciously allowed Good Fruit Grower to capture photos and videos of their machines at work several weeks before the tour. Visit our website at to see more from those stops and stay tuned for more from the tour in future issues. Patrick Woodworth TJ Mullinax/Good FruiT Grower Patrick Woodworth shows a 13-foot-tall vertical axis system that took about four to fi ve years grow into a fruiting wall to better accommodate mechanization at Sandy Knoll Farms near Lyndonville, New York. Each tree uses a single piece of steel to help it remain self-supporting, which makes a trellis system unnecessary. TJ Mullinax/Good FruiT Grower Steel angle iron supports for Woodworth's Sandy Knoll Farm fruiting wall.

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