Thank you Jean and Con,

You have made what on the surface appeared to be an easy transition,
into a most interesting, albeit time consuming, research project.

I assume now that when Jean states that he is "not confident with
conversions" in comment related to question two, having to do with the
timing of summer hedging, that you meant that you are not confident
with stating that we here in Massachusetts would find that the correct
timing for hedging would be 10 leaves, as opposed to not being
confident of the wisdom of conversion of training systems.

As you have both clearly stated that the single most critical aspect
of this system is determining the proper timing for summer hedging,
then proceeding with caution is advised.

Last summer the IFTA visited several NY orchards who were employing
modified summer hedging. Though they were not attempting to keep as
thin a wall as described, I believe they were performing the hedging
in August as suggested by Con.

Jean, would it be possible to receive the protocol you developed to
test for timing of summer pruning, or is it as simple as shearing at a
series of timings, and then watching for results?

Thanks again for your input.


On Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 6:38 AM, Con.Traas <> wrote:
> Hello all,
> Point 5 is in my mind probably the most vital to get right. If this does
> not work the system will not work.
> Quote:
> "5) This shearing shortly before solstice allows for short extension of
> growth. As solstice is passed, days begin to become shorter. As days
> become shorter, tree is keyed to shift from vegetative growth to
> reproductive, and so extension growth is limited and conversion of
> growth to fruiting bud initiation begins.
> 5/ yes that's the explanation from Louis Lorette who did a theorization
> of summer pruning in early 20th. In our case I am afraid that we did a
> more empirical work, designing trials to find the best pruning date in
> our conditions. The 10 leaves date, seems to work for France."
> I have been looking at summer pruning for many years, and in our part of
> the World, a 10 leaves point of pruning, or just around June 21st, does
> not work. In fact, for most varieties, early August, perhaps even the
> second week of August, is the appropriate time. The date at which a
> shoot can be headed with reasonable expectation of forming a fruit bud
> on resultant brindle seems to depend on crop load, soil nutrition and
> soil type (which can vary across a field or orchard), water
> availability, apple variety, use of gibberellin inhibitor (like
> prohexadione calcium) and then something like an "Indian Summer" (an
> unusually warm spell in mid August) can cause re-growth of buds which
> you would expect to set fruit buds, resulting in turn in no shoot tip
> fruit buds.
> What I am attempting to put across is that using mechanical pruning with
> this system is not without difficulty, and what may work well in France
> may not work so well elsewhere.
> A most interesting conversation; many thanks.
> Con Traas
> The Apple Farm
> Cahir
> Ireland
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> apple-crop mailing list

Maurice Tougas
Tougas Family Farm
Northborough,MA 01532
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