PGP: Canopy Management Main Principles (to date)
Sunlight harvest: Get sufficient sunlight to where fruit and new growth is required
The main objective of most CMS is to maximize sunlight harvesting. The final spacing, height, and shape of the trees will determine how much sunlight is harvested. Distributing the foliage within the final shape of the tree will determine where new growth occurs and where fruit is produced.
Scaffold vs. fruiting wood
The final tree will consist of a scaffold (usually 2-5 well spaced main limbs with associated branches) which distributes the fruiting wood appropriately.
Big cuts vs. small cuts
MD: With overgrown trees there will be a multi-season process where big cuts will be needed at the beginning followed by smaller cuts for maintenance. With trees that are pruned regularly from the beginning, the cuts will always be small.
Retaining the volume of the canopy
The fruiting wood will produce fruit and eventually be pruned to avoid increasing the volume of the tree. New wood from "inside the tree” needs to have grown to substitute this fruiting wood once it is exhausted (cascade method). To allow this new wood to grow, light must reach "inside the tree”.
The canopy won’t be a closed sphere; it will have holes for light to reach the areas where new growth needs to happen.Click to see video: Cascade effect
Fruit harvest is generally carried out with Elevating Work Platforms. These machines enter the canopy to reach the fruit. Therefore, access inside the tree is required. By pruning to harvest light within the canopy, access to harvest is guaranteed because the tree will be open in several areas.