[NAFEX] pruning technique info please

dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com
Wed May 9 14:21:13 EDT 2007


Tanis,

Knip-boom is a highly feathered (branched) nursery tree.  It comes from the 
nursery with 10 to 15 feathers (branches).  We use this type of tree in a 
tall spindle or slender spindle training system.  The beauty of the tall 
spindle system is that you don't prune very much at all, providing you use a 
well feathered tree. The rootstock must a dwarfing rootstock such as be Bud 
9, M9 or M26.  We use all three rootstocks herea t Royal Oak Farm.

 For a good example of knip-boom visit 
http://www.umass.edu/fruitadvisor/clements/2004idftaitaly/2004idftaitaly-Pages/Image15.html. 
For a training photo see 
http://www.umass.edu/fruitadvisor/clements/2004idftaitaly/2004idftaitaly-Pages/Image14.html. 
Instead of using twine, we use the new biodegradable rubber bands that last 
3-4 months then fall off.

Here is the simplified training and pruning plan for the tall spindle 
system:

Tall Spindle: Simplified Training and Pruning Plan

First Leaf

  a.. At Planting: Plant highly feathered trees (10-15 feathers) at a 
spacing of 3 to 4 feet by 11 to 12 feet. Adjust graft union to 6 inches 
above soil level. Remove all feathers below 24 inches using a flush cut. Do 
not head the leader or the feathers. Remove any feathers that are larger 
than two-thirds the diameter of the leader.
  b.. Three- to four-inch growth: Rub off the second and third shoots below 
the new leader shoot to eliminate competitors to the leader shoot.
  c.. May: Install a three- to four-wire tree support system that will allow 
the tree to be supported to 3 meters. Attach the trees to the support system 
with a permanent tree tie above the first tier of feathers, leaving a 2-inch 
diameter loop to allow for trunk growth.
  d.. Early June: Tie down each feather that is longer than 10 inches to a 
pendant position below horizontal.
Second Leaf

  a.. Dormant: Do not head leader or prune trees.
  b.. 10 to 15 centimeter growth: Pinch the lateral shoots in the top fourth 
of last year's leader growth, removing about 5 centimeters of growth (the 
terminal bud and four to five young leaves).
  c.. Early June: Hand-thin the crop to single fruit four inches apart (you 
should target 15 to 20 fruit per tree).
  d.. Mid June: Re-pinch all lateral shoots in the top fourth of last year's 
growth. Tie the developing leader to the support system with a permanent 
tie.
Third Leaf

  a.. Dormant: Do not head the leader. Remove overly vigorous limbs that are 
more than two-thirds the diameter of the leader using a bevel cut.
  b.. Late May: Chemically thin according to crop load, tree strength, and 
weather conditions, then follow up with hand thinning to the appropriate 
levels to ensure regular annual cropping and adequate fruit size (target 50 
to 60 fruit pre tree).
  c.. June: Tie the developing leader to the support system with a permanent 
tie.
  d.. August: Lightly summer prune to encourage good light penetration and 
fruit color.
Fourth Leaf

  a.. Dormant: Do not head the leader. Remove overly vigorous limbs that are 
more than two-thirds the diameter of the leader using a bevel cut.
  b.. Late May: Chemically thin and follow up with hand thinning to the 
appropriate levels to ensure regular annual cropping and adequate fruit size 
(target 100 fruit per tree).
  c.. June: Tie the developing leader to the support system with a permanent 
tie at the top of the pole.
  d.. August: Lightly summer prune to encourage good light penetration and 
fruit color.
Mature Tree Pruning (Fifth to Twentieth Leaf) - Dormant: Limit the tree 
height to 10 feet by cutting the leader back to a fruitful side branch. 
Annually, remove at least two limbs, including the lower tier scaffolds that 
are more than two-thirds the diameter of the leader using a bevel cut. 
Shorten the bottom-tier scaffolds where needed back to the side branch to 
facilitate movement of equipment and preserve fruit quality on the lower 
limbs. Remove any limbs larger than 1 inch diameter in the upper 2 feet of 
the tree.

  a.. Late May: Chemically thin and follow up with hand thinning to the 
appropriate levels to ensure regular annual cropping and adequate fruit size 
(target 100 to 120 fruit per tree).
  b.. August: Lightly summer prune to encourage light penetration and 
maintain pyramidal tree shape.
(Information courtesy of New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.)

If anyone has any other questions about this system, feel free to contact 
me.  We just planted approximately 1,000 new knip-boom trees and are 
training to tall spindle.  They will produce apples next season.  As soon as 
i get a chance, i will post photos of our trees we planted last season that 
are full of blooms this season.

Dennis Norton
Royal Oak Farm Orchard
http://www.royaloakfarmorchard.com
http://www.theorchardkeeper.blogspot.com
http://www.revivalhymn.com
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "tanis grif" <tanisgrif at yahoo.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 11:40 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] pruning technique info please


>I was recently introduced to a dwarf apple pruning/training technique 
>called
> "knip-boom", or snip-tree or cut-tree.  I think I understand it generally, 
> but would
> like to learn more, plus I think other listers might be interested.  But, 
> can't find
> any articles via net-searches-- I'm NOT the best surfer.
>
> My main questions right now are
> Can it be used with any rootstocks, or only certain dwarfing ones?
> Pears too (plus rootstock question)?
>
> Thanks for any help.
>
>
>
> ____________________________________________________________________________________
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