[permaculture] spindle cut orchards

paul wheaton paul at richsoil.com
Sat Jun 2 09:34:27 EDT 2007


A lot of excellent info.  Thank you.  Some of the benefits you list
sound tempting.

>  I'm not sure why you think that this approach is scary and/or
>  implies a lack of diversity.

I think the thing that creeps me out the most is that these trees do
not give me the sense of working with nature, but making nature your

Many of these trees had a six inch thick trunk and a 3 inch thick
trunk at the top where they were clipped.   They had heaps of pruning
done all over them every year.  And you could see it.  Thick branches
trimmed at 2 feet in length.  My impression of permaculture is coming
up with systems where you can walk away and just come back for the
harvest each year.  Sure, with many fruit trees, you will need to come
back every few years for pruning.  With the spindle cut system, I can
see how you would need to prune every year, although the pruning would
be quite easy - low to the ground and pretty small cuts.

And where is the forest in this food forest?  It's more like a tree is
forced to be a shrub.

> Do you advocate espalier at all?

Only to those that are seeking to do art with apple trees.

Perhaps if I digest this a bit further, I can think of a case for it.

>  Your hypothetical proposal of killing off 90% of the trees wouldn't
>  work, I suspect, as they're not dwarfed by their proximity but by
>  their root stock.  You'd have to replace them, and you'd be looking
>  at 7-10 years before larger trees started producing useful amounts
>  of fruit, and even then you'd never match the productivity (or so
>  it seems) of this method.

I think there is the big problem with the orchard I saw.  They must
not have been using dwarf stock, but semi dwarf stock.

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