Converting Tall Spindle Apple Trees to Narrow Walls with Summer and Dormant Pruning

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BTW, R. Marini is the former chair of the Penn State Horticultural department and editor of J. American Pomological Society.

It seems that root pruning is the main tool involved here. No matter how you manage other pruning, root pruning will drastically reduce vegetative growth and improve color and brix of the trees fruit. The trick is, how much root do you prune? Commercial growers use power equipment and essentially do trenching a certain distance from trees, as I understand it. It would take some practice in any given orchard to work out how much root to prune, especially in the humid regions where that equation would fluctuate depending on rainfall during the growing season. Texture of the soil would be the other most important complicating factor.

Root pruning is an ancient practice but in modern production it is fairly new, I guess. I first read about it 10 years ago, of so, in Good Fruit magazine. It isn’t something I often read of being done any more by home growers.

Anyone out there do it?