Bearing, as these fruits do, mainly on the young wood, summer pruning and subsequent spurring, so important with most fruits, are out of place. It is true that when they are grown in pots, under conditions which do not permit of space for free extension, spurs may be encouraged to develop, but that is a phase of culture which must be left for the present. We have seen already that the best form of tree is the fan, and that the way in which it is formed is to cut back the "maiden," and to again shorten the branches hard at the two year old stage. This results in a number of shoots which form the "ribs" of the fan, and between them are laid the young shoots that are to bear the fruit. Theoretically the system is easy enough, and there is no reason why it should not work out in practice. It is probable that the principal difficulties of the novice are (1) the shoots ("forerights") that stick out at right angles to the trellis from the face of the main shoots, and (2) how to reconcile the interests of removing the old wood after fruiting with that of retaining enough young extension wood for the next year's crop, since a great part of this pushes from the upper part of the fruiting shoot. These difficulties can easily be smoothed away. (1) Forerights cannot be neatly laid in, and should be cut clean out. (2) When the shoot which is to bear is disbudded in the spring, a bud should be left at the base as well as at the tip. The latter will serve a good purpose in drawing up the sap, but there need be no hesitation in parting with it when the time comes to cut out the old fruiting shoot, because the basal bud left has broken into growth, and there is an extension shoot all ready to take the place of the one removed. (See Fig. 13, e.)
In disbudding a fruiting shoot when growth starts in spring, do it by degrees; it imparts too great a check to remove all the buds at once (Fig. 14). With respect to the time for removing the old fruiting shoots, an opportunity may be chosen any time after the fruit has been gathered.
A, portion of a branch, showing, a, three year old wood - side or subsidiary branch; b, two year wood - bearing wood of the current season, but of last year's formation; c, terminal growth (present year) stopped to about three leaves to attract sap to the fruit; d, laterals and sub laterals pinched to one leaf as made; e. one year growth or successional shoot springing from base for next season's leafing; f, pinched because too long, otherwise left entire; g, secondary growths (laterals) which have formed in consequence of the stopping shortened to one joint; h, sublaterals stopped to one leaf; i, lateral (proper) pinched; j, point of cutting out bearing branches after fruit has been removed.
B, forming artificial spur on extension growth by stopping.
C, natural spur.
A, young shoot and fruit torn off: a, wound made.
B, B, proper way.
C, tearing branch before disbudding: b, shoot for next year's fruiting; c, terminal shoot.
D, bearing branch after disbudding: b, shoot for next year's fruiting; c, the terminal shoot shown in C, stopped; the resulting lateral, d, also stopped at one leaf.
F, branch extension after disbudding: c, side shoot for next year's bearing; f, continuation shoot stopped; g, spur stopped.