We make whips work as well as feathered trees by growing the tree strongly
the first couple years. Don't head, get them to 10' asap.I've found they
fill in fine over the next two or three years. Whips won't produce as
quickly as well feathered though. At times we are sold "feathered" trees
which are actually "branched" trees that need to have branches removed so
as to allow tree to gain height and allow for feather development. The only
things I head, or pinch,  are feathers in top one third of tree to reduce
auxin production and encourage more feathers below. Maxcel may help, but
frankly I've done a couple of controlled trials and after year three can't
find treated trees.

Mo Tougas

On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 5:25 PM, Doug Nelson <> wrote:

> Forgot to mention the picture I have attached is an example of one of
> these poorly feather trees. My wires are two feet apart so you can see that
> this tree is almost seven foot tall.
> On Jul 3, 2017 4:22 PM, Doug Nelson <>
> wrote:
> I'm in my second year of growing apples. This year we planted 5000 apple
> trees tall spindle style. These will be used for upick.
> The nursery I bought from gave me about a thousand terrible trees with
> almost no feathers.
> I have sprayed heavily with Maxell to encourage lateral bud growth. Has
> not work that well.
> My Orchard is located right next to one of the Chicagolands largest
> commercial tree nurseries. The field manager of the nursery recently
> stopped by and told me he would encourage lateral growth by heading all of
> these poorly feathered trees.
> I know the rule with tall spindle is generally you never had the tree, but
> I think the assumption  is that you have a lot of feathers.
> Has anyone ever headed poorly feather trees to encourage lateral growth?
> What were your results?
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Maurice Tougas
Tougas Family Farm
Northborough,MA 01532
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