Understand fruit trees

Understand Fruit Trees has been written to enrich your knowledge, to manage cultural practices in a timely manner, and to help you make the right decisions.


Understand Fruit Trees links tree physiology with soil science and water management, so that you will see the big picture.
Hopefully, this will equip you with enough basic knowledge to make sound judgments.
Understand Fruit Trees provides fruit growers with the mindset and tools necessary to improve on, and sustain, a profitable orchard operation.
A deeper understanding of what goes on within the tree can only enrich your appreciation and the fascination of working in concert with this wonderful creation, the fruit tree.

File contains 143 pages of information, images and illustrations
File size: 7.5Mb

Topics include:

Part 1: Sunlight

  • Sunlight and fruit production
  • Sunlight and shade
  • Tree shape and size
  • Let leaves see sunlight
  • How to manage sunlight
  • Too much shade costs you money
  • Transient shade is good shade
  • Converting light energy into fruit
  • Sunlight, photosynthesis & tree nutrition
  • Sunlight—the fuel for photosynthesis
  • Leaves are living food factories
  • Leaves adapt to the ever–changing light
  • What happens during photosynthesis?
  • Leaves support other parts of the tree
  • What is respiration?
  • Other functions of sunlight
  • Best tree row orientation
  • Other special features of leaves
  • How hard can leaves work?
  • Not all leaves are the same
  • Minimise sunburn of fruit
  • Harvest more sunlight with reflective materials
  • Build an efficient canopy architecture to minimise sunburn of fruit

Part 2: Roots

  • Roots: out of sight but not out of mind
  • Plumbing of the trunk and root shank
  • Roots—what they do
  • The root system
  • New roots under a microscope
  • When do roots grow?
  • Root distribution in the soil
  • Root death and turnover
  • Orchard practices affect roots
  • Control and restrict root growth in a high-density planting
  • Why and how to restrict root growth
  • What is root pruning ?
  • What is scion rooting of apple trees?
  • Mycorrhizal fungus and root health

Part 3: Soil

  • Soil is not dirt
  • Think of soil health
  • What is soil type?
  • Millions of microorganisms in soil
  • Earthworms—Nature’s soil improvers
  • Importance of organic matter to soil structure
  • Maintain good soil structure
  • Prepare your soil the right way
  • Use winter weeds to improve soil
  • Benefits of weed mulch + gypsum to surface soil
  • Mulches and compost
  • Soil chemistry
  • Importance of soil CEC
  • Importance of soil pH
  • How useful is a soil test?

Part 4: Water

  • Water: did you know?
  • Water movement in fruit trees
  • Which irrigation system?