Good Fruit Grower

December 2011

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FOUR LEADERS better than one Belgian horticulturist Tom Deckers discusses the pruning strategy for a four-leader system. Many pear-growing systems put too much energy into production of shoots, he said. In this system, fruit develops close to the leaders. "The time is out when we wait seven to eight years after planting for the trees to start to crop." —Tom Deckers A Quad V system for pears helps control tree vigor and promotes fruiting, a Belgian grower has found. by Geraldine Warner Adams or Quince C rootstocks. Two leaders are trained to each side of a V trellis. With more than 1,200 trees per acre, that means there A are 4,800 production units per acre. "That's one of the reasons why the productivity of this type of system is very high," said Dr. Tom Deckers, pomologist at the Pcfruit research center in Belgium. Trees on this system can produce 10 bins per acre in the second leaf and 25 to 30 bins per acre in the second leaf, reaching 50 to 60 bins at maturity. "The time is out when we wait seven to eight years after planting for the trees to start to crop," Deckers said. The vigor of the trees is divided between the four leaders. Deckers said vigor is more difficult to con- trol when trees have only two leaders or are on a V system with trees leaning alternately to either side. Van der Velpen's plantings are irrigated immediately after bloom. Around 35 pounds of nitrogen per acre are applied in the spring, and 18 pounds per month are applied through fertigation during the grow- ing season, making a total of approximately 90 pounds per acre for the year. About 22 pounds per acre of four-leader system is generating early and high yields of Conference pears in the orchard of Jan van der Velpen and his brother in Bierbeek, Belgium. The system requires well-feathered nursery trees with at least six laterals so that the four best branches can be selected after planting as the future leaders, which are supported by individual bamboo poles. Their trees are on Quince Our Reputation Is Everything To Us! ® Performance You Can Count On! 3008, SWING HITCH 3210: 10.5' WIDTH 3210, SEMI MOUNT 3209: 9' WIDTH 3008: 8' WIDTH Burrows Has Been a Full Service Bush Hog Dealer for 45-plus Years! When you buy BUSH HOG, you get great performance NOW AND FOR YEARS TO COME. 5 Year Limited Gearbox Warranty 46 DECEMBER 2011 GOOD FRUIT GROWER "Serving "Your Ag Area FarmersEquipment Since 1939" 800-827-5138 800-827-5138 1308 East Mead YAKIMA, WA 509-457-8105 QUALITY SERVICE QUALITY PARTS 927 Wenatchee Ave WENATCHEE, WA WENA CHEE,W 509-888-0355 Specialist" 290 Series 290 Series: 5', 6', 7' WIDTHS geraldine warner

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