To study the training in fruit plants
Training refers to the judicious removal of parts of the plant so as to develop the proper size of the plant to be able to bear heavy crop loads.
Materials Require: –
- Pruning Saw
- Bordax paste or Fungicide
Objectives of training
- To facilitate orchard cultural operations.
- To provide an attractive appearance.
- Lightening to allow air to enter the tree and to expose maximum leaf surface to the sun.
- for increasing production
- for complete colour development
- To protect the tree trunk from sunburn injury.
- To secure a balanced distribution of fruit-bearing parts on the main limbs of the plant.
Systems of training
- Central Leader system:
- In this system the main trunk of the tree is allowed to grow freely.
- The first branch is kept at a height of 45 to 50 cm from the ground level and other branches are kept at a distance of 15 to 20 cm on the main stem.
- If the central leader is allowed to grow indefinitely; It will grow more quickly than lateral branches resulting in a strong, robust closed center and tall tree. In such a tree, the fruiting is confined to the top part of the tree.
This system is also called a close centre, because the center of the plant is closed and is also known as a pyramid system because the trained plant looks like a pyramid. This training system is used in the case of some varieties of apple and pear
Merits and demerits:
1) The main advantage of this system is the development of a strong crotch.
2) Its main disadvantage is the lack of light in the interior of the trees. This weakens the central apex and thus shortens the life of the tree.
3) Since the trees are very tall, harvesting and spraying become difficult and costly.
4) Lower branches, which remain more or less in shade, eventually become weak and less fruitful.
5) Due to the very high size of the plants, there is an increased risk of damage from storms.
6) This method of training is not suitable for high-altitude areas and hot dry places where wind velocity is high.
- Open Centre system:
In this system when the plant reaches a height of 40 to 50 cm. The main stem is then cut off from the top (deheaded).
From the subsequent vegetative growth, 4-5 branches well arranged and distributed around the main stem are selected.
Thus, the trained tree attains less height.
In this system, the plants take the shape of a bowl.
This training system is used in plum and peach.
Merits and demerits:
1) It helps in transmitting the light to all parts of the tree which is helpful (a) for better color development of the fruit (b) to spread the fruiting area over the entire area of the trees.
2) Due to the low height of the trees, there is a facility for pruning, spraying, harvesting, etc.
3) Branches form weak and narrow crotch, which can often break due to high stress such as heavy bearing and strong winds.
4) It is also possible for the central stem to get sunburned.
5) The branches are very close to each other in the same place.
6) In this system the plants take the shape of a “bowl or vase”, which provides a good base for the accumulation of snow. Hence this system is not suitable for high altitude areas where snowfall is common.
- Modified Leader system:
- It is intermediate between the above two systems and has advantages of both systems.
- In this system, first, the tree is trained by a central leader system to develop the main trunk without any hindrance for the first four or five years.
- After that, it is cut at a height of 120 to 150 cm from the ground level.
- The first branch on the main stem is kept at a height of 40 cm from the ground and 4 to 5 branches are placed around the main stem at a distance of 15 to 20 cm.
Merits and demerits:
1) It results in a small height tree with well-distributed branching, good fruiting due to well-branching distribution, and ease of operation of the orchard due to low height. This system of training is used in fruit plants like citrus, pear, apple
- Commercial Fruits. By S. P. Singh
- A text book on Pomology, Vol,1. by T. K. Chattapadhya
- Tropical Horticulture, Vol.1, by T. K. Bose, S. K. Mitra, A. A. Farooqui and M. K. Sadhu