Orchard Operations – Pruning to Induce Early Bearing in Orchards
Minimal pruning and scaffold posting of plums using twine.
What has ANR done?Our research results from four sets of trials and demonstrations have shown that two methods can help to induce early production. For peaches and nectarines, reduced pruning during the first three growing seasons is practical and effective. For plums, which also can benefit from earlier production, reduced pruning combined with small metal anchors and twine to tie limbs into a specific orientation are more suitable. We worked closely with about six influential growers noted for their growing expertise and strategically located throughout the growing area. Demonstration blocks were set up in their orchards to compare these systems side by side with current pruning system. Trees were brought into bearing two to three years sooner than with conventional pruning techniques. In all cases the growers became enthusiastic supporters of the reduced pruning method. The concept also has been disseminated through the trade press and other media.
These techniques advance bearing by 1-3 years.A verbal survey of growers in the Tulare County area indicates that this technology is now being used by more than 45 growers on a full-scale basis on more than 3,000 acres of trees. Many other local growers are trying the concept on at least a portion of their orchards. Additionally, many growers in other parts of California are using these techniques. Assuming that orchard life before varietal obsolescence is roughly 10-12 years, these techniques have increased productive orchard life by at least 10 to 25%, thereby placing money directly in the growers’ pockets.
Supporting Unit:Tulare County
Phone: (559) 685-3309 Ext. 211