Cherry Training Systems (E3247)

This publication describes the seven major pruning systems used in commercial cherry tree orchards in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Michigan.


Cherry Training Systems 

Any tree fruit training system will provide a framework with the potential to produce large quantities of high-quality fruit. However, many traditional training systems create complex canopies, take years to fully develop, lack a systematic plan to renew fruiting wood, and are difficult to clearly and specifically explain. Due to the rising cost of production, an increasingly limited skilled labor pool, and escalating competition on the world market, modern training systems must offer growers results such as these:

■ Precocity or early fruiting for high early yields and a more rapid return on investment

■ Production on well-exposed wood of moderate vigor to provide high-quality fruit

■ A systematic process to renew fruiting wood

■ Repeated canopy units for simplicity in training and pruning Cherry growers around the world use many training systems, both supported and freestanding.

This publication describes eight commercially successful systems: Kym Green Bush (KGB), Spanish Bush (SB), Steep Leader (SL), Super Slender Axe (SSA), Tall Spindle Axe (TSA), Upright Fruiting Offshoots (UFO), Upright Fruiting Offshoots “Y” Trellis (UFO-Y) and Vogel Central Leader (VCL), all of which can be achieved with a whip (vs. feathered) nursery tree. Each system has benefits and limitations. Choosing the right system depends on growing conditions, variety, rootstock, labor availability, and management skills. This training manual will provide readers with the information needed to choose a training system for new plantings. You will learn how to implement the chosen system to meet your production goals.


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