Fig. 6. Forming A Fan-Shaped Fruit Tree
Fig. 6. Forming A Fan-Shaped Fruit Tree

References

A, tree in first year's training: a, point of heading maiden tree; b, three growths originated and retained to form the basis of the head; c, points of winter pruning; d, im provised trellis of stakes to secure growths against wind and give desired direction.

B, tree in second year's training: c, growths retained and trained obliquely: f, spurs.

The fan system is well suited to Peaches and Nectarines, to Apricots, and to Morello Cherries. If anyone has a wall with a north aspect, and is not quite sure what fruit he would like to grow on it, let him plant a fan-shaped Morello, permit it to grow freely, and lay in plenty of young wood. He will get abundance of very useful fruit.

A fan shaped tree proper has no vertical leading shoot. All the growths radiate from a point low down in the tree as a result of hard cutting back. A maiden tree is chosen, cut down two-thirds its length, and three shoots selected from the buds that break, the others being removed while still quite small. When starting into growth the following spring, these three shoots may be shortened to 6 inches. As a result, buds will break into growth, and two may be selected on each of the three stumps, and allowed to extend diagonally and equidistant. Thus a tree with six healthy branches will be secured, all radiating from a common base or centre - a veritable "fan" (see Fig. G).

It may be well to warn the inexperienced fruit grower against rushing his trees into size by omitting the cutting back of the three branches. The temptation to do so is very strong in the case of Peaches and Plums, for they make a great deal of growth when young, and it seems a pity to cut most of it away. Nevertheless the grower should harden his heart, sharpen his knife, and follow the advice here given.