[NAFEX] Bending branches to induce early fruiting

tanis grif tanisgrif at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 2 17:20:16 EST 2005

Great idea.  (I also like the idea of concrete easter eggs, posted since.)  When I
was trying to create the perfect branch-spreader, I also didn't want to damage the
bark.  I wanted to use wires or old electronics wires to hold the weights, and
wanted to pad the wire passing over the branch.  While pondering this, I happened to
visit a gardening friend who was discarding a garden hose because her DOUS (Great
Dane puppy) had chewed it beyond repair.  "Ah ha" said I and the rest is history,
for one of my plantings anyway.  I've been surprised by how long the pieces of hose
have withstood constant sun-exposure, but hey it's garden hose.

--- Joe Hecksel wrote:
> Hello all:
> Most of you are familiar with the technique of bending vertical branches 
> to a more horizontal position to induce earlier/more fruiting.  Many 
> mechanisms have been proposed (C/N ratio, hormonal changes).  The simple 
> fact remains that it is one of the most effective ways to "tip" a tree 
> into fruiting mode.  It can also make a young, shy bearer a star because 
> you can double the amount of light the canopy harvests.
> Pears seem to be the one kind of fruit that most benefits from branch 
> spreading.  I am heavily weighted toward pears because they produce 
> acceptable fruit with minimal inputs.  Also, I can find many "takers" 
> for the fruit when I become overwhelmed.  Try getting rid of 200 pounds 
> of persimmons someday.  Tough to do, at least in semi-rural Michigan.
> The rub is in the mechanics of bending the branches.
> -Twine and tying them down is very effective but slow and tedious
> -Propping branches with >----< sticks or <======> sticks scar the bark 
> and can/maybe make the tree more vulnerable to fire blight.  This is a 
> big deal with pears.
> -Tree weights are an option but you have to make your own.
> So, there I was filling a hole in the foundation that my wife was sure 
> was the source of several recent ROUS sightings.  Being a man who is 
> basically lazy by nature, I made sure to mix a vast-over sufficiency of 
> mortar.  Being a man of curiosity, I experimented with the extra....

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