[NAFEX] Bending branches to induce early fruiting

lee reich lreich at hvc.rr.com
Sat Apr 2 17:32:08 EST 2005

I use "six packs," the plastic flats that seedlings are sold in in 
spring, filling each cell with concrete and then sticking a heavy, 
bendable wire into each cell. When the concrete is hard, I remove each 
concrete cube and hang it on a branch by its wire.

Lee Reich, PhD

On Apr 2, 2005, at 5:20 PM, tanis grif wrote:

> 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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