There are a number of topics which can be listed under this heading: varieties, root stock, spacing, training techniques, support system and more. We will touch on all of these to help you understand where the profit exists when planting orchards today: January 2001.
Today, we are planting M9 and B9 with a single 10 foot stake and a free-standing M26. Here at Breadner Orchards, we practice two methods of tree training. No method of training is inexpensive, but after doing studies on tying versus spreaders, it was concluded that the cost of both methods were very similar. Using "V" spreaders® was a much faster method than tying with string, but the string was cheaper to buy. "V" spreaders® are reusable; you always have them. Keeping "V" spreaders® at different locations throughout the orchard make them easily available when needed.
The timing of training young trees is determined partly by the spacing. It is important to keep trees vigorous for the first 3 years. If you need a larger tree to fill a space, training could be delayed for one year, but if these trees are close, training is essential to bring them into production.
With vigorous growing varieties that were well feathered when planted, August of the same year is an excellent time to start pruning and training. To save money in free-standing trees, we limb spread the bottom 2-year scaffold branches with "V" spreaders® and tie the weaker first year branches down to those "V" spread branches.
click on the small images on the right to view aspects of planning an orchard.