Training Branches to go where You Want by wa5491


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									Training Branches to go where You Want

Many people associate pruning with changing the structure of your tree to
fit a different shape or style. However, this is not the case. Altering
the structure of the tree is known as “Tree Training”. This is a much
better way to develop an alternate form for your tree. Pruning should be
used to prevent diseases, prevent lopsidedness, and encourage healthier
fruit growth.

Pruning is also used to maintain the proper shape for the tree. For
example, if you have an abundance of branches on one particular side of
the tree, then you will use pruning to get rid of the larger segments
which weigh down the tree to one side. Think about it more in terms of
maintaining rather than altering. While pruning is useful occasionally,
most of the time you can use training as a healthier and more efficient

Training has not been around for very long. Through tying down branches
or propping them up from the ground, one can direct the growth of the
tree to take whatever shape they want. This theory is usually used in the
early days of the tree to encourage it to develop fully. If you direct
the tree and get it started off on the right foot, you’ll save yourself a
lot of pruning time later.

Usually, training occurs during the summer. Rather than just cut off all
the branches that aren’t going in the right way, you try to redirect
them. The mechanisms you use can be thought of as orthodontic braces for
your fruit tree. They pull or push the branches, like teeth, in whatever
direction you want them to go. Eventually they naturally grow that way
due to your training.

It can be hard to decide how exactly to train your tree. There are many
different forms and shapes to choose from. Some are meant to allow a high
density of trees in one orchard, and some are meant to provide maximum
fruit bearing per tree. Depending on where your tree is and how you want
it to function, you will have to look for different types of forms that
will perfectly fit your situation.

The theories of training can also be applied even if you are growing a
tree in the traditional (natural) form. Sometimes branches will grow too
close together and block each other out, so training them to grow away
from each other can prevent the need to prune them later. This is highly
beneficial even if you are just growing a tree in your backyard, in a non
professional environment.

To train a tree, you will need some sort of outside brace to push or pull
a branch. Alternately, if you want to push 2 branches closer together or
further apart, you can place something in between them or lash them
together with rope. Successfully training your branches just takes a
little imagination in deciding what to tie things to and what to push
things off of. I have found that stakes, fences, or simply an upright two
by four leaning away can work wonders.
There is no tree grower that couldn’t benefit from using a little
training in their tree growing escapades. Whether you have decided to
give your trees a completely new form, or just optimize the branch
placement for healthier fruit, there is surely some way that training can
benefit you.


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