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  • Author or Editor: Matt J. Stasiak x
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Inadequate branch production on apple trees can result in reduced bearing surface and problems with tree training. We sought to increase the number of lateral shoots by enclosing the one year old portion of the central leader of two year old `Jonamac', `Red Jonagold', and `Scarlet Gala', apple trees two weeks prior to bud emergence. The bags were then removed when the longest shoots in the bag were approximately 2.5 cm long. After leaf fall the number and length of shoots in the bagged sections were measured. The number of lateral shoots >5 cm in length produced on the bagged sections of the leaders was increased by 3.7. Total lateral growth on the central leader increased by 149 cm per tree. Trunk cross-sectional area, tree height, or production of lateral shoots >5 cm were not affected by bagging. Differences between clear and orange bags were not significant. Bagging appeared to be an efficient means to induce trees to produce lateral branches. The greatest benefit would be to varieties like `Jonamac' and `Red Jonagold' which averaged only 1.7 laterals without bags.

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