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How to make apple, pear and other trees produce more fruit. Simple and useful secret!

Apple tree - Bending branches to increase fruit production

Learn how to increase fruit production on productive trees such as apple and pear trees with this simple technique.

It has long been observed that the branches of deciduous productive trees (e.g. apple, pear, peach, lotus, quince, cherry, apricot, etc.), which had a certain slope relative to the trunk, produced more fruit.

What was the observation?

Branches of deciduous productive trees growing upward did not produce as many fruits as branches whose slope was more parallel to the ground. Branches that formed a larger angle relative to the trunk.

The observation was that branches of trees that were large with an upward direction had far fewer fruits than those that were more horizontal.

This secret was known to people from long ago. It was known empirically by traditional farmers in the villages. But they didn’t know the explanation.

The explanation for the phenomenon – Apical Dominance

The explanation for the phenomenon was given by the study of agricultural scientists.

And it was called Apical Dominance.

According to it, the apical eye, the top bud present on each branch, controls the growth of the buds present below it.

Terminal bud on apple tree
Top bud on an apple tree branch. The top buds secrete the hormone auxin.

The top eye on a tree branch secretes a growth hormone (auxin – Auxin in Greek) that “flows” downward and suppresses the growth of the buds below.

Auxin is a plant hormone that causes cell elongation in shoots and is involved in regulating plant growth.

This phenomenon affects apple and pear trees more than peach trees and less than peach trees.

The phenomenon is annual. It occurs every year during the period when the tree, having shed its leaves, begins to produce leaves and flowers again.

The methods for greater production

To get more fruit production in deciduous productive trees, we need to combat Apical Dominance.

We can do this in two ways.

By cutting the top bud (eye)

This method is suitable for apple and pear trees.

If we prune and remove the top bud (eye), it cannot secrete the growth hormone auxin (auxin) and as a result the other buds on the tree’s branch will give new branches with increased production.

Bending the branches towards the earth

If we don’t want to remove the top bud on a branch by pruning, we can bend the branch towards the earth. To ‘train’ the branch so that it does not grow vertically.

By bending the branch, we reduce the effect of Apical Dominance.

The eyes (buds) below the apical / dominant bud will receive smaller amounts of the growth hormone (auxin – auxin) that “flows” downward and suppresses their growth.

This will lead to greater growth and production.

The ideal angle of the branch is 60 degrees from the vertical axis of the tree trunk.

The ways of bending branches

There are 3 ways of bending the branches of deciduous fruit trees.

Method 1: Hang weights on the branches to be bent

You may have seen some people hanging water bottles from the ends of tree branches. The weight makes the branches bend towards the earth. This is how we “train” the tree so that the branches don’t grow upward.

Method 2: With rope or string we pull the branches downwards

With this method, we use rope or string.

Μηλιά - Λύγισμα κλαδιών για αύξηση παραγωγής
Apple tree – Application of the technique.

We tie one end to the branch and the other end to a weight (e.g. stone, cement block, iron) placed on the ground.

The branch bends towards the ground and we get the result we want.

Method 3: Using spacers

Spacers are “special” structures, usually made of wood, that are placed between the main trunk of the tree and the branches. They have forks at both ends. One is attached to the trunk of the tree and the other to the branch we want to bend.

Αποστάτης - Χαρακτηριστική εικόνα

As they are rigid, they force the tree branches to change angle and grow downwards.

An economical way to make spacers is to use pallet wood.

In all 3 ways, care must be taken not to overdo it. If we apply too much force, then the branches may break. We certainly don’t want that.


Bending the branches of productive trees towards the earth increases their fruit production.

This is because the Apical Dominance effect created by the top bud of the branch with its secreted auxin hormone is reduced.

The effect is more pronounced and the intervention more effective in apple and pear trees.

There are 4 ways of intervention to increase production:

  • Prune the top bud
  • Hang weights on the branches we want to bend
  • We use rope or string to pull the branches downwards
  • We use spacers to bend the branches downwards

I hope you found this article helpful and apply what you learned for more bountiful tree production in your garden!






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