[NAFEX] High Density Planting
dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com
dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com
Fri May 29 15:11:47 EDT 2009
Here at Royal Oak Farm, we have planted over 2,000 apple trees using the high density tall spindle system where we space trees 3 to 4 feet apart. Row widths can be as narrow as 6 feet apart for a backyard orchard. Our row widths are 12 to 14 feet for equipment purposes. To download the article that gives you a complete description of the tall spindle system, including training and pruning guide go to www.nyshs.org/fq/06summer/NYFQ%20Summer06.pdf For a quick guide: http://www.newenglandvfc.org/pdf_proceedings/SpindlePlantingApplesNE.pdf.
The objective of tall spindle is high density, early fruiting and minimal pruning. By following the Steve Hoying, Terence Robinson, and Mike Fargione Simplified Training Plan, any backyard grower can do it. The article in the NYSHS quarterly is very complete and has a good photo of the training.
Here's the system in a nutshell:
1) The tall spindle or Slender Axis systems appear to be the most profitable systems.
2) High tree density gives high early yield.
3) Highly feathered trees are the key to the systems.
4) Minimal pruning at planting (No heading the leader or tipping the feathers at planting)
5) Branch angle management. Bending feathers below horizontal at planting induces early cropping and limits branch size.
6) Branch caliper management. Ruthless removal of large branches keeps trees manageable. "Large branches create large trees"
7) "The best way of restricting vegetative growth is to produce apples."
Another article on the application of the system can be found at http://www.goodfruit.com/issues.php?article=2287&issue=87.
If anyone is interested on more information, contact me an I can e-mail you our 1 page training program with photo on branch bending.
1)The tall spindle or Slender Axis systems appear to be the most profitable systems.2)High tree density gives high early yield.3)Highly feathered trees are the key to the systems.4)Minimal pruning at planting (No heading the leader or tipping the feathers at planting)5)Branch angle management. Bending feathers below horizontal at planting induces early cropping and limits branch size.6)Branch caliper management. Ruthless removal of large branches keeps trees manageable. "Large branches create large trees"7)"The best way of restricting vegetative growth is to produce apples."
Royal Oak Farm Orchard
Office (815) 648-4467
Mobile (815) 228-2174
Fax (609) 228-2174
----- Original Message -----
From: "Caren Kirk" <quirky at videotron.ca>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, May 29, 2009 9:57 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] High Density Planting
> Bill wrote: OK, keep in mind that I'm very much a newbie at this, Donna, and
> I was
>> experimenting with the Backyard Orchard Culture I found on the Internet...
> Wow, interesting document, didn't realise you could get away with cramming
> trees so close together.
> I too am pretty limited for space and am trying to grow a wide variety of
> fruit. I though I was crowding my apples in at 9ft apart but what is
> suggested in this document goes much further.
> I wonder has anyone got much experience with this technique and what kind of
> success people have had. I imagine it's great for cross polination (as you
> can easily plant several varieties) and thus have greater fruit set, but are
> there any negative affects, for example stress on trees from close planting,
> faster disease and pest propagation, etc.
> If anyone has any comments I'd be very interested.
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