Pruning fig (Ficus carica L.) during the early stages after planting

E.M. Lodolini, F. Ferlito, D. Neri
Speed the vegetative growth, create a strong scaffold according to the selected training system and obtain an early onset of fruit production are pivotal issues for fruit tree orchards during the first years after planting. The setup of an open vase free canopy training system was tested in a commercial 'Dottato' fig orchard in the north-west of Italy applying minimal pruning in both winter and summer. The small micropropagated trees (0.2 m height) were planted in March and the newly growing central leader was shortened at 0.5 m from the ground during the spring. The new sylleptic shoots were shortened again at 0.5 m length, in a sort of “Spanish bush vase” during the summer. At the end of the first growing season, exceeding shoots were removed from the central portion of canopy to leave 3-4 primary branches. During the second year, summer pruning was applied to preserve a single arrow per each primary branch and maintain an increasing length of the secondary branches along the axis to obtain a conical shape. In case of vigorous primary branches, a head-back cut was applied at the insertion of a secondary one to open the canopy. The applied pruning technique resulted to be suitable for the specific growth habit of 'Dottato' cultivar and allowed to obtain the selected training system very quickly, enhancing vegetative growth and reducing onset of fruit production at the third year. When the fig trees reached the full production at the fifth year, a 25% of the lateral branches were stump cut in the winter to stimulate the branch renewal and the productive shoot growth in the basal-medium part of the canopy.
Lodolini, E.M., Ferlito, F. and Neri, D. (2021). Pruning fig (Ficus carica L.) during the early stages after planting. Acta Hortic. 1310, 193-198
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1310.29
conical shape, 'Dottato', head-back cut, open vase, training system

Acta Horticulturae