I'm prepping for a pruning class this weekend and wondering which book to reference to find some juicy quote from Masanoba Fukuoka about why and how he doesn't prune his trees. I'm hoping one of you has read his books more recently than me and can direct me to the right chapter in the right book, etc.
The juiciest bits are on pages 31, where he talks about what happened when he tried his methods with trees already pruned, 61 in the Orchard Trees section where he discusses his principles generally, and 80 where he discusses marketing of his produce. The pages refer to the .pdf file page numbers and not the book's page numbers. I'm pretty sure he talks more about it, but my favorite parts are on 30/31 as he discusses wiping out about 400 trees in trying to figure out what the natural pattern is: "To the extent that trees deviate from their natural form, pruning and insect extermination become necessary; to the extent that human society separates itself from a life close to nature, schooling becomes necessary. In nature, formal schooling has no function." Great stuff.
most of my boughten trees were prepruned when i bought them so they don't count, but the trees I have put in from seed or seedlings have not been pruned on our property, unless a branch broke or was diseased or some other major need..and they do very well. I have 3 self seeded apples that are big beautiful trees that were never pruned except a few water sprouts from the trunk, which now I hear I'm not suppoosed to have removed..on one of them.
I have always been a "bad" pruner which means I never did the pruning I was instructed to do, so that tells you a little about my trees..my pear trees were prepruned before I got them, but they have not been pruned since and they are gorgeous, and yes I have left the lower sprouts on those. All my other trees have been allowed to grow as they want in most cases.
Bloom where you are planted.
I like the idea of letting trees do their own thing, but our group of crabs/apples is right between our two houses, a place where I do not want more shade not to totally block all views from one house to another, to the driveway etc.. I'd like to plant some in another part of the property where they could be left natural, but these ones I'm trying to keep at a height I can pick from without ladders and also prune without ladders!
edge of the boreal mixed woods zone, just east of the Rocky Mtn Foothills, z 2/3