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nafex - [nafex] sticking lower scaffolds on the trunk

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  • From: Alan Haigh <>
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  • Subject: [nafex] sticking lower scaffolds on the trunk
  • Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 16:37:26 -0400

If you do the scoring at about the time trees are in bloom and you cut
above an obvious latent bud you will likely get a shoot, but if it is
shaded by vigorous scaffolds above it may not grow with enough vigor to
take a dominant position in the tree. There is a reason apple trees are
built from the bottom up, one tier at a time to make a productive central
leader tree.

The quickest way to do what you want would be to cut the tree to the height
you want the first scaffolds and retrain one of the shoots that arise their
as the new central leader and other shoots to be either the first tier or
the first two scaffolds of the first tier. I suspect you won't want to go
this radical and you can also score the whole trunk going half way around
with one cut and then doing the other side a couple of inches up. This
should encourage much more growth below these cuts as it will create the
same hormonal condition as actually cutting the trunk of clean- at least
until the wounds close.

Most folks don't really understand the long term maintenance of central
leader trees. The highest branches always have the advantage in light
exposure and eventually outgrow lower branches. When their diameter
approaches that of branches below they should be replaced by well
positioned smaller branches. Only the first tier of branches is

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