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Spur bound

Posted by David Maxwell 
Spur bound
May 05, 2013 07:38PM
I have a tree (Gideon, which you will never have heard of - it is a local variety form New Brunswick), grafted onto Ottawa-3 rootstock. I did not prune it in its early years (as I probably should have done) but allowed it to simply grow, figuring that it would develop side branches from which I could select framework branches. It did put out multiple side branches, but every one of them promptly turned into a fruit spur. I ended up with a long trunk, with multiple fruit spurs all along it. When it reached 10 ft, I lopped the top off, hoping that this would encourage vegetative growth. It didn't.

Essentially I have ended up with a Wijcik, although the original cultivar is not supposed to be such. One way of looking at the situation is to regard the cultivar as a "tip bearer" which is doing precisely that - putting out a branch, the terminal bud of which is a fruiting bud, upon which all further extension ceases.

Any ideas as to how I can get the thing to produce some vegetative growth? Cutting off some of the fruit spurs isn't likely to get me very far, as there are no obvious dormant buds at their bases which might be stimulated to grow.

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The photo is not terribly good, but clicking on it hopefully makes the situation clearer. All the little lateral things the length of the trunk are fruit spurs. At the top, I did manage to get laterals, (following my beheading), which grew out 8-10 inches before, in turn, turning into fruiting spurs. It just kept growing taller and taller until the weight above caused the trunk to break, hence the length of conduit and the bindings to support it. The tree healed fine, but even with the trunk snapping, it was not stimulated to produce lateral growth below the break.

[url=http://groworganicapples.com/profile.php?pid=7]Broomholm Orchard[/url]
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2013 08:02AM by Michael Phillips.
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