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Open Tatura with two leaders, showing only one side of the two canopies. It is

Open Tatura with two leaders, showing only one side of the two canopies. It is “open” because a strip about 0.5 meters (20 inches) wide separates the diagonally planted trees within each row. Trees are spaced 1.0 by 4.5 meters apart. Vigor of the trees is

  • Planted two-year-old unfeathered trees, which were at least 1.8 meters (six feet) high and had two leaders.
  • Hand-watered trees immediately after they were planted to avoid transplant shock.
  • Tied trees to the wires with plastic trellis clips.
  • Planted two pollinizer trees near every trellis frame, which were 15 m (50 feet) apart.


    First year

    Aim: Promote growth of new shoots from the base up; extend growth of leaders.

  • Pinched new shoots in the top half to force development of new shoots in the bottom half.
  • Growth of leaders was allowed to extend.
  • Stubbed strong shoots back to about 10 cm (4 inches) except for two shoots low in the tree.
  • Rubbed out shoots on the back of the trees (inside the V).
  • Tied two shoots low in the tree to the bottom wire (see diagram).
  • Sprayed Ethrel (ethephon) in late summer to terminate extension growth, harden off green wood, and keep buds tightly shut.
  • Applied a total of 160 kg of nitrogen per hectare (143 pounds per acre) through the drip lines during summer to push growth of the trees.

    Second year

    Aim: Complete tree complexity with strong base and weak head; keep leaders dominant; slow down vigor.

  • Scored blind parts and notched buds in spring to stimulate growth of shoots.
  • Headed long leaders in November (late spring), about 8 weeks after growth had started.
  • Rubbed out shoots on the back of the trees.
  • Stubbed strong shoots back or rubbed out.
  • Sprayed Ethrel in summer and fall to terminate extension growth, promote development of fruit buds, and keep buds shut.
  • Completed first stage of finished tree i.e., tree canopy filled with dominant leaders that were dressed with one- and two-year-old wood and some spurs.

    Third year

    Aim: set a crop; promote fruit buds; keep trees calm.
  • Placed six beehives around the 1.14 hectare block.
  • Tied some pendant branches to the wires to avoid crowding and shading.
  • Rubbed out strong shoots inside the V, which is a regular summer practice to allow good light distribution throughout the canopy.
  • Used regulated deficit irrigation (RDI).
  • Headed the leaders in November (late spring) to keep the height of the canopies to 2.2 m (7.25 feet) measured vertically. This is 60 percent of the actual width of the rows, which was 3.70 meters (12.25 feet).
  • Applied a total of 112 kg of nitrogen per hectare (100 pounds per acre) in the fall through the drip lines (based on leaf analysis and tree vigor).
  • In winter, removed shoots that had no terminal fruit buds and cut two-year-old fruiting wood on the ring (i.e., division between one- and two-year-old wood).

    Fourth year

    Aim: Set a crop; keep trees calm.
  • Placed six beehives around the block.
  • In summer, pruned once inside the V.
  • Used RDI.
  • Applied a total of 47 kg nitrogen per hectare (42 pounds per acre) in the fall, based on tree vigor.
  • In winter, removed all wood that had no terminal fruit buds, thinned out branches, and made ring cuts (this was mainly containment pruning).
  • Completed final stage of finished tree.

    Fifth year

    Aim: Set a crop; keep trees calm; renew fruiting wood.
  • Placed six beehives around the block.
  • In summer, pruned once inside the V.
  • Used RDI.
  • Applied 60 kg nitrogen per hectare (53 pounds per acre) in the fall, based on tree vigor.
  • In winter, shortened pendant branches, spaced out fruiting wood, renewed some fruiting wood, removed any branches that did not obey the 3-to-1 rule, and rearranged some branches to fill gaps in the canopy.