Re: [gardeners] Re: Sunday in the garden

Margaret Lauterbach (
Tue, 07 May 2002 11:26:32 -0600

Ron, I'm mindful that your growing conditions are vastly different from 
mine. I have four seasons, you have cold and rainy or hot and windy.  Not 
always windy.  But Kourik's "Designing and Maintaining Your Edible 
Landscape Naturally" quotes the author of the One-Straw Revolution as 
saying "trees will bear fruit every year and there's no need to 
prune."  Kourik does say that the reference is primarily to citrus, all of 
which are terminal-bearing trees.  Flowers only form at the terminii of 
shoots or branches, and fruit there.  Persimmon is one of the fruits that 
bears in this manner.

In general, pruning is done to open a tree to sunlight, because without it, 
fruit buds wither and die.  If a tree only bears on the tips of its 
branches, there's no need to open the tree.  He does refer to alternate 
bearing years for apples, and he (Kourik) says "thinning young fruits 
during the heavy crop years helps unpruned trees bear fruit the next season 
and lessons the tendency for alternate bearing."

I never tried to grow apricots in Southern California.  In Idaho, they 
would bear every year if they could survive late frosts.  I'm surprised 
that you can grow them at all in So. Calif., though, because they require 
over 700 chilling hours (below 45) per year.  BTW, when our neighbors' 
nectarine tree was loaded with almond-sized fruit, it was a distress 
signal, just prior to its premature death.  Margaret L

> From everyone I know who grows apricots and persimmons, they bear
>heavily, alternate years. Last year we harvested about 700 'cots from
>our semi dwarf tree, all fruit of good commercial size. With the
>persimmon, from what I have read in CRFG's  Fruit Gardener," persimmons,
>especially the Fuyu, do so, as well.
>I have been considering thinning our Panamint nectarines, but will enjoy
>eating/canning them, no matter what the size. That tree is 3 years old
>and is so loaded that it's branches are beginning to sag, even with
>fruit no larger than a good sized olive. We shall wait and see. First we
>need to get about netting the apricot and nectarine, so that the birds
>do not devour every last they did, last year, the day our
>blueberries ripened:( Needless to say, they are netted this year!
>Happy growing!