PEACH MEADOW ORCHARDS
The concept of the meadow orchard for peaches is based on the following principles:
- A very dense planting system that will produce a full field cover of canopy in one year.
- The tree top can always be reached from the ground i.e., the maximum height is 2.2 m.
- The main scaffold branches are short lived in comparison with to the tree and renewed pruning has to be performed annually.
- Pruning is the main means that keeps the tree small. It consists mainly of removing large scaffold branches, which entails a small input of manual labor.
- No excessive shading can build up in the tree canopy with increasing age of the orchard, as the light regime in the canopy is very similar from year to year.
- Operations in the orchard can be fully or partly mechanized, thus reducing manual labor input.
Over the years three versions of the peach meadow orchard were developed: the mechanized system, the modified system, and the intensive system. These 3 systems differ in the level and timing of pruning.
Erez, A. (1985). PEACH MEADOW ORCHARDS. Acta Hortic. 173, 405-412