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With this basic guide we will describe you how to carry out pruning of the hazelnut tree in its bushy-vase shape.
The bushy-vase is the training system that makes the vegetative development needs of the plants coexist with those of the farmer’s operating techniques.
It is a system planted at 30-40 cm above the ground. This allows, as opposed to the bush training system, to easily carry out the operations of suckering and cleaning at the base of the plant.
The Astone planted in autumn is pollarded at 30-40 cm. The following year, chosen 4-5 best-oriented vigorous branches, it is given shape to the vase.
The hazelnut tree grows in various stems. However, for the hazelnut production, it is better to prune the tree so that it can develops only one main stalk.
The main objectives of the hazelnut tree pruning are:
Pruning must be carried out during the dormancy period, which occurs from late autumn to early spring.
Pruning is used to manage the growth of trees beyond the constitution phase and to invigorate older trees.
It is a means of removing sick or dead wood, thus prolonging the life of the orchard. The short branches, 5/6 cm in length, are almost sterile, while, for productive purposes, the best branches are those with a length of 15/20 cm.
Structural pruning is performed in the first 4 to 5 years after planting and used to encourage a robust tree structure capable of supporting heavy crops and withstanding loads of ice and snow.
get a tree in the shape of a single vase with three or five main branches.
Cut the stalk to a height of 0.8 meters, which will induce the growth of a well-defined crown.
Select 3-5 primary branches (Picture 1 – Illustration A) using the following criteria:
During the second winter select 1 or 2 additional scaffold branches (Picture 1 – Illustration B). When the scaffolding selection is complete, pruning can focus on terminal branches to reduce crowding (Picture 1 – Illustration C).
If the trees have a habit of vertical growth, the removal of one or two vertical branches in the middle of the tree in the 4th or 5th year will open the tree canopy.(Picture 1 – Illustration D).
Maintenance pruning is that which takes place from the 5th year onwards.
ensure the strength and the productivity of the tree.
In the hazelnut grove in production, we have to make return cuts to stimulate the plant to produce new branches.
When you prune, it is always necessary to remember that an operation comparable to the surgical procedure is being applied to the plant. To prevent that infections will develop after cutting, there are some important points you should follow:
In recent years, the difficulty of finding the workforce and the high costs represented by traditional pruning operations are pushing towards a mechanical pruning, even if many aspects remain to be evaluated.
Mechanical pruning is carried out with particular disks assembled on adjustable bars.
The intensity, deepness and direction of the cut can change from time to time, adapting to different situations of intervention. In plants in production, mechanical pruning reduces the overall intervention time, even if it is not exhaustive because it must be preceded and followed by a manual finishing operation.
Oregon State University – A Basic Guide to Pruning Hazelnut Trees
La coltivazione del nocciolo manuale pratico – December 2013
Organization and editorial coordination – Gianluca Griseri – Technical Manager Ascopiemonte
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