P90529They do not come with instructions for their maintenance. Deciduous fruit trees, particularly the stone fruit trees (such as cherry, plum, prune, apricot nectarine and peach) and pomme fruit trees (such as apple and pear), can be procured as easily as nasturtium seed or petunias. Whether bare-root in winter or canned (potted), they very often get planted into gardens where they are expected to produce their fruit as easily as daisies bloom.
Instructions for planting that come with bare root stock are useful for getting those particular trees started, but mention nothing about how even brand new trees need to be pruned after installation, and will need specialized pruning annually every winter thereafter. The same applies to rose, raspberry, blackberry (all varieties), grape, and to a lesser extent, fig, pomegranate, persimmon and several other fruit producing trees, vines and shrubs.
The problem with the stone fruit and pomme fruit trees is that they were bred to produce an unnatural abundance of unnaturally large fruits that are too overwhelming to sustain as they ripen, and too heavy to support. The others are in a similar situation, but are somehow able to continue to produce and generally support their own weight as they get overgrown and congested. Roses deteriorate and succumb to disease as they get congested.
This is why annual winter pruning is so important. Such pruning concentrates resources into fewer but superior fruits, rather than too many inferior fruits. It also limits and contains (closer to the main trunk and limbs) the weight of the fruit, so that limbs are not so likely to break as fruit develops.
These wimpy stems hanging vertically from the weight of the maturing apricots might be able to support the weight of the fruit, but the excessive fruit will be of inferior quality.P90529+

3 thoughts on “Horridculture – Unpruned Fruit Trees

  1. I’m lucky to have a small picking farm near me whose owners (hobbyists who turned it into a seasonal business) know how to prune, and how to do everything else in their control to ensure a good crop. I picked peaches last year from beautifully maintained trees, and even though the fruit was clustered as heavily in some trees as these apricots, it was — is — delicious.

    I’ve observed that a similar little place down the road doesn’t produce fruit that’s so tasty — your post suggests one possible reason, since their trees do look like they could use a haircut.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fruit of overgrown trees is not necessarily bad. It is just not as big and ‘perfect’ as that of well maintained trees. I grew up with apricots and prunes and other fruit from abandoned orchards. It was all quite good. The runty fruit was never a problem because it was just left to fall on the ground in the orchards. No one minded the waste because there was way too much fruit to be harvested. The trees fell apart over the years, but continued to produce until they were pulled out and burned so that more homes could be built there. What bothers me is when trees get planted into home gardens and become a messy problem because those who planted them do not now that they need to be pruned.

      Liked by 1 person

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