[nafex] open center vs central leader in nafex Digest, Vol 111, Issue 3

Patsy King pking888 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 3 17:37:02 EDT 2012

Hi Alan, and other NAFEXers

> I read your recent message  with interest, since I am always trying to
> understand pruning!!   Is there a reason that on central leader trees, one
> needs to remove branches that get too large a diameter?  I wonder if they
> would actually in some cases be a benefit by keeping the overall height of
> the tree lower, if they are trying to "take over" the tree?

> I also had heard that a central leader tree actually allows more light to
> the wider lower portion since the top is skinny and the bottom wide,
> whereas an open center tree has the widest part at the top.  But I don't
> know--I may be misinformed or have misunderstood.  I do know I'd like to
> keep as much fruiting wood as possible within reach of the ground or a low
> ladder.  Do you have a recommendation for which type would work better for
> that?   I have primarily apples, but also peaches, apricots, plums of both
> Japanese and European types, and cherries on G5 and G6.

I"m curious too what others think about summer pruning.  I believe there
was an excellent explanation of how/when to do that on NAFEX a year or 2
ago.  If people would like to add their experiences with summer pruning
here, that would be great!

On a new subject, I recently read in Michael Phillips new book The Holistic
Orchard, that as far as thinning fruit, it needs to be done within I think
he said about a month of when the fruit is visible, or else it can cause
the tree not to bear the following year.  I had not before heard a specific
time as to when that needed to be done by. Most stuff I've read just
mentions that thinning helps size the existing fruit.

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