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bent leaders

Posted by David Maxwell 
bent leaders
May 13, 2015 07:17PM
This is perhaps the other side of pruning - the results of not pruning. As Michael says, one gets only 50 chances. And I am a very slow learner. I have a number of trees, (of many different cultivars, so it isn't just a cultivar issue), on Ottawa-3 rootstock, (any relationship to my problem?), which I have been endeavouring to train in a central leader fashion. I do appreciate that I failed badly in my early training, and have ended up with my scaffold limbs a lot higher than they should be. But that is not my current problem. The leader on many of the trees persists in bending over into a graceful arc. And, no, this is not induced by the weight of fruit pulling it over - most of the affected trees are not yet bearing.

Herewith an example of what I am talking about: <a href="[www.flickr.com]; title="bent trees 004 by David Maxwell, on Flickr"><img src="[c4.staticflickr.com]; width="2048" height="1829" alt="bent trees 004"></a>

So, two questions: 1) why is this happening? 2) what do I do about it? (Go around and plant tall stakes at each tree to bind the leader vertical?)

Broomholm Orchard
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2015 09:23PM by David Maxwell.
Re: bent leaders
May 14, 2015 04:42AM
Ha! I do beleive I have beaten it! Here is a picture of my bent leader tree, (one of dozens..)

(Click on the image to make it big enough to see. Click on the large image to go back to normal size)

Broomholm Orchard
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2015 04:44AM by David Maxwell.
Re: bent leaders
May 14, 2015 06:10AM
Hello David,
Yes, I've seen the same on some of my O-3 trees, but not all. Could have something to do with the root, or at least with the root-scion combination. Some have started a new vertical leader from the bent part.
Now, since we are probably the only 2 in this community to have trees on this rootstock (it is not available in the US as far as I know), we are not likely to get many opinions on this rootstock...


Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
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