[nafex] Strategy for maintaining trees for small property spaces: copicing

Steven C filtertitle at aol.com
Tue Jan 29 13:26:46 EST 2013

Strategy for maintaining trees for small property spaces: copicing (?) plus multiple trees per hole:

  I am interested in growing multiple varieties of the same type (species-wise) of fruit.  At a minimum, I have one favorite variety per seasonal ripening: early-, mid- and late - so 3 varieties per species to start with.  In addition, to these, I've planted other varieties per season-section for the sake of diversity of qualities, but redundancies in terms 'just having ripe fruit at that time frame'; these extra trees are planted each right next to the the original trees/varieties.  

What if I (initially) allowed all (3 like season section varieties per hole) of the trees to grow to 10' tall and approaching "crowded".  Then cut back 2 out of the 3 to a few feet above the graft-union (or crown for self-rooted and seedling varieties), while the one that is left to grow (for now) approaches 15' tall; when that one reaches 15', i cut that same one to above the graft-union (for grafted trees) while the other two reach 10'.  Then i cut back one of the two taller ones, while the shortest (was first to be cut back) is allowed to approach 10' and the one left alone last finally reaches 15'.  And so on, in rotation.  This way: A. You will always have one tall (to 15'), one medium (to 10') and one short while it waits its turn (around 5' or less); B. always have fruit, but not always will a variety or 2/3 that fruit for that year; C. Balancing the trees with careful pruning techniques is less of an issue as you can keep starting from new (single stem) when the trees reaches 15' tall; and D. The trees will continually be refreshed - may help with disease-resistance as it will not ever be a 30 year old yet continually pruned as a 15' tree.

Steve (NJ)  

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