[permaculture] spindle cut orchards

Toby Hemenway toby at patternliteracy.com
Mon Jun 11 13:25:00 EDT 2007

Again, pardon the lag in picking up this thread.
On 6/2/07 8:17 PM, "Rich Blaha"  wrote:

> I guess I don't share your outrage at the practice....Fukuoka aside,
> most fruit trees do well with heavy pruning.

Agreed. Fruit trees of semi-dwarf and bigger size were bred for thousands of
years to grow very vigorously, which means that left unpruned, branches will
get so long, thin, and poorly angled that they will break easily, so the
trees will get fungal diseases via the huge wounds, form thickets, and other
problems. I think failing to prune because you believe it is "unnatural" and
therefore wrong is a little bit like releasing a dog or cat into the wild
because you feel domestication is slavery. The creature will suffer. They
are bred to have a relationship with people. We are misunderstanding at
best, and negligent at worst, if we don't maintain that relationship, and
the companion being will decline because of it.

And one of the little secrets of Fukuoka-style non-pruning is that most of
the fruit is inedible. It can't be reached on the too-tall trees, delaying
harvest until it falls to the ground. Somewhere in Fukuoka's books he says
that most of his fruit goes to feed pigs or to make vinegar. Personally, I
like to eat the fruit myself.


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