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leaving trees unpruned

Posted by Josh Klatt 
leaving trees unpruned
March 11, 2013 02:35AM
Our approach to raising healthy fruit often defers to the natural order of things. e.g. Developing a 'forest edge ecology' is informed by the natural environment that trees evolved in. We (the trees and us) share at least one common goal: desirable tasty fruit that beg to be consumed. What's the reason behind the way an apple tree wants to grow ? Is there any redeeming quality about the growth results of an unpruned tree? Anybody leave a tree or two completely alone to see how it turns out ? All of my trees are still very young (<6 years), so still plenty of time to influence how they'll turn out and plenty of room for experimentation.

Josh Klatt
Ohio River Valley
Zone 6b

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2013 04:19PM by Michael Phillips.
Re: leaving trees unpruned
March 23, 2013 11:58PM

This tree is 100 + years old. If it had not been pruned, I believe that the upper and inner branches would shade all of the lower wood, inviting bugs and disease. I have rejuvinated many old trees like this one by letting in the sun and air.
Re: leaving trees unpruned
April 11, 2013 06:54PM
Great photo and example, Paul. This is a question I keep getting, especially from advocates of One Straw Revolution, Fukuokua in Japan. I, too, have pruned old abandoned orchards and cleared out all the dead wood from the interior that died from lack of light... and can only imagine the disease and bugs that no longer could find easy homes once I was done.

A point I like to bring forward is all the energy of growing that will grow in places that will be shaded out later, that will need pruning off later, if efficacious pruning is not done in a timely manner. 6 years is a good time to put the tree/house in order for production and good health. Hear here.
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