2D fruiting wall for apricots (part 2)

Canopy building: Specific early tree training is critical to get a well-balanced fruiting canopy established quickly.

Canopy building (cont from last month)
Advantages are soon lost if management and tree training are not carried out correctly.
Selection, positioning and developing four uniform leaders is of utmost importance for successful orchard management and high tree performance.
In spring, select four shoots from each headed nursery tree. Avoid selecting the first two or three shoots immediately under the cut because these are often upright and vigorous.
Shoots lower down often have wider angles and are more uniform.
To position the leaders, train each leader with the help of a string tied every 500 mm from the bottom to the top wire. Regularly fasten the young growing leader to the string with a tapener.
Use 100 mm plastic ties to secure the leader to each 2.65 mm high-tensile galvanized wire. Weave each leader between the four or five wires as it grows up along the string.
To develop four uniform leaders, distinction must be made between the two inner and the two outer leaders.
The two inner leaders tend to have much more vigour than the two outer leaders because they are closest to the trunk and above the roots.
For this reason, you must first create strong growth in the outer leaders and subdue (by pinching) growth of the inner leaders.
Stub cut any flushes of sylleptic shoots. These are shoots that appear on current growth.
Do all this initial pruning and training in spring and summer to ensure that most energy goes into leader growth, and the trees remain free of bacterial canker (Pseudomonas).
Fruiting units
The fruiting units are allowed to develop from the base up of each leader.
These start as short laterals and spurs. A spur is a contracted lateral.
(cont next month)

See this article in Tree Fruit August 2020

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