Pristine CompOrganic Methods To Promote Branching In Nursery Apple Trees

With funding from a USDA-SARE Farmer Rancher grant, we compared several organic methods of promoting branching in nursery apple trees raised in a high tunnel.  Manually removing young leaves near the growing point of the tree increased branching slightly, and spraying trees with a seaweed extract high in cytokinins reduced branching slightly.  In addition, there were strong differences between varieties in branching and there was much variation among individual trees in both height and branching.  The cost in materials and labor for raising a tree in this system was approximately $11.95-$12.08, excluding overhead costs and costs of facilities and equipment; the different treatments to promote branching had minor effects on the overall cost of raising a tree.

Read the full research report.

This product was developed with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA).  Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed within do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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