APPLE HARVEST AND SEASONALITY

The aim of any producer is a high yielding, high quality crop that satisfies the end user. There are a large number of agronomic factors which can influence this, many are within the control of the grower, under given growing systems, climatic and soil conditions newly planted.

Trees invariably need to be pruned. The exact pruning depends on the desired shape of the tree.During full production, all trees need pruning and thinning of fruits to ensure an optimum leaf to flower/fruit ratio and to allow for air circulation through the tree and light penetration to improve fruit quality and size.

Pruning also helps to ensure that water and nutrients are available to an optimum number of well-positioned fruits.Major pruning is normally carried out while the trees are still dormant in late winter. Pruning in summer is done to remove weak-bearing water sprouts and to allow light into thick canopies.

Pruning in late summer is not recommended as it can delay dormancy and predispose trees to more winter injury.As a general rule it is better to prune little and often rather than to severely cut back the tree in one pruning session. Such severe pruning generates vigorous vegetative growth acting as a strong sink for nutrients and water, and thereby affecting fruit quality and bud differentiation.

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