My suggestion is not to head the leader unless it has reached its maximum
height, then head it back to a weak lateral in winter. As you mentioned,
tie-down the leader in early spring, but don’t forget to bring it back up after
bud break and before it stiffens in mid-summer (early July in Illinois). You
can also make a notch above dormant buds on the leader to break the apical
dominance effect. Or you can brush/spray the blind-wood areas of the leader
with Promalin. Promalin is a growth regulator, so its effect is subject to
many factors including temperature, rootstock, tree vigor, spur/non spur, etc.
Mosbah Kushad, University of Illinois
From: apple-crop [mailto:apple-crop-boun...@virtualorchard.com] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, May 01, 2017 9:01 AM
Subject: [Apple-Crop] When to Head or Tie Down Tall Tall Spindle to promote
I have second year old tall spindles. Some of them are near the maximum height.
Most of them do not have enough lateral growth. When should I head the tree or
Shepard hook the top of the tree down with twine?
I am next to a commercial tree nursery. They Shepard hook tie down in Spring to
promote lateral growth. A few youtube videos about tall spindle indicate to do
head in mid summer if the trees are tall enough. No one has ever talked about
shepard hooking tall spindle. The literature I can find online is silent on
heading or shepard hooks.
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