Good Fruit Grower

March 1

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Shortening laterals of peach and nectarine trees in winter, cuts fruit thinning costs and renews fruiting wood. Photo by bas van den ende Shorten laterals to cut thinning costs Shortening laterals in winter reduces the initial fruit load. P each and nectarine trees will always set more fruit than the trees can size. For most orchardists, thinning peach and nectarine trees is one of the most expensive yearly orchard operations. It does not need to be, if you prune your trees correctly in winter and shorten the laterals. Good laterals are about 300 to 400 millimeters (12 to 16 inches) long, are between six and seven millimeters (about �� inch) thick at the base, and have many triple buds (two flower buds with a leaf bud in between). Most of these laterals will set between eight and 15 fruit. Depending on the time of maturity, you should thin the laterals to an average of one, two, or three fruit per lateral (see ���Prune for size��� in the December 2012, issue of Good Fruit Grower). Shortening the laterals in half reduces the fruit load by at least 50 percent. More importantly, if you shorten laterals, they will generate new laterals for next year. Since peach and nectarine trees bear fruit only on maiden (new) laterals, you need to think not only about the present crop, but also ensure that you will get a crop the following year. Laterals that are not shortened often bend under the weight of the fruit and fail to generate new laterals. They become spent laterals, which have to be removed in winter. Van den Ende is a tree fruit consultant in Australia���s Goulburn Valley. ��� Photos by bas van den ende by Bas van den Ende Laterals always have more fruit than is desired. This lateral needs to be thinned to one, two or three fruit and will have difficulty in generating new laterals. This lateral was shortened in winter and required only a quick thin at tip-change. The lateral is starting to grow at least two good laterals for next year's crop. Avoid the Orchard of No Return Natural Fish Fertilizers for Organic & Sustainable Crop Production Replant disease can take the profit out of any orchard. Soil fumigation services offered by Trident manage replant disease and other soil-borne pathogens. Trident offers custom applications of Telone�� C17, Telone C35, and Pic-Clor 60. h i g h l E x t re m ely ev e l C a l cs o f ava i l a b l e P h o s pi u m & horus ��� Row and broadcast applications available ��� Specializing in tree fruit, hops, grape, berry, and nursery crops Telone�� II, Telone C-17, and Telone C-35 are registered trademarks of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Telone II, Telone C-17, Telone C-35, and Pic-Clor 60 are restricted-use pesticides. BERRIES VINEYARDS ORCHARDS Soil Fumigation Specialists Serving the Northwest for 29 years Dramm Corporation Manitowoc, WI ��� U.S.A. 38 MARCH 1, 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER 360.333.4044 Casey Schoenberger Mount Vernon, WA NORTHWEST, WA: EASTERN WASHINGTON: EASTERN WASHINGTON: THE DALLES & HOOD RIVER, OR: Tim Purcell..........Mobile 360-630-4285 Robert Rauert ....Mobile 509-728-2004 Jason Rainer .......Mobile 509-731-5424 David Sbur ..........Mobile 971-563-8848

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