I was looking into training Ribes recently and came across the possibility of training them as a cordon, a single trunk fan or a single trunk bush. Obviously that’s beautiful, but wouldn’t I sacrifice some production? It is my understanding that the standard way to prune Ribes is to remove 3-4 year old trunks or shoots from the soil to keep the natural multi-trunk bush form productive. If I had a permanent cordon that was 4 years in age, would I be losing out in production? Or is the age of the trunk not the reason Ribes are pruned this way (similar to an old strawberry plant) and it’s more about maximizing sunlight and air flow.
My understanding is that it’s to improve the quality of the fruit and reduce picking labor and pest/disease pressure. Ribes fruit on last year’s wood, so you prune it to make sure you always have a supply of 1 year old twigs coming off the cordons or trunk. I haven’t gotten to that point with my Ribes, but that’s my understanding of the theory behind it.
Check out this NY cooperative extension doc from 2005 for more info:
That’s fantastic. Thank you.
To prevent link breaking
Improved-Fresh-Fruit-Quality-of-Gooseberries-and-Red-Currants-with-the-Cordon-Training-System.pdf (829.0 KB)
I grow cordons for ornamental reasons. And yeah I don’t get as much fruit until it’s fully developed. I had two of them but removed them to start new ones with Rovada. As it has very large berries. I got the idea of T cordons from Lee Reich.
I need to start training my gooseberries, timely!
Went thru my young gooseberries and pruned them all to two future cordons. I tied them in Vs to bamboo posts, I will probably run some wire as they get taller, currently around 18" but growing fast.
I have been considering training mine against the house to some sort of ornamental form. I’ll be following everyone’s progress. @Drew51 could you post some photos when you get a chance?