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nafex - [NAFEX] S training for fruit trees

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  • From: Diane Whitehead <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: [NAFEX] S training for fruit trees
  • Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2003 13:40:25 -0700

I've just read a fruit tree training article called Bending the Rules in the February 2002 issue of The Garden, the journal of the Royal Horticultural Society. I searched the NAFEX list archives, and did a Google search but did not find any further information.

S-training was developed by commercial orchardists in South Africa, Netherlands and Belgium. This article advocates its use by home gardeners.

The practitioner quoted in the article: Will Sibley, a freelance grafter and pruner in England, says S-training is attractive and a lot easier than traditional methods of espalier. Trees on M9 dwarfing rootstock are planted against a post and trained into an S shape during the first two years. From then on, pruning and training is minimal. Optimum production will be in four years, when apple trees will produce around 18 kg (40 lbs) annually.

It can also be used for nectarines, peaches, apricots, and plums, but not pears or cherries.

Have any of you tried this?

Diane Whitehead Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
maritime zone 8
cool mediterranean climate (dry summer, rainy winter - 68 cm annually)
sandy soil

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