Since fall is approaching, it seems fitting to share with you information about one of our apple blocks, the PA 4-Wire Trellis.
This block of apples was planted in 1990, so it is over 25 years old. It was Kuhn Orchards’ first venture to grow apples at a higher density with dwarfing rootstocks and a trellis support system. There are 550 trees/acre in the planting system versus the 40 trees/acre in a traditional standard apple planting. The trees in the PA 4-wire block have been trained to the wire so their branches extend and overlap, creating a hedgerow effect.
The picture above shows the unique architecture of the tree and how the hedgerow is created. The photo below shows how narrow we keep the hedgerow to allow adequate light penetration and airflow through the canopy.
There are many, many varieties in the block, some of the main ones include: Granny Smith, GoldRush, Jonathan, and Summer Rambo.
The PA 4-wire is a pedestrian orchard, meaning that all tasks (pruning, thinning, and harvest) can be completed from the ground without the use of a ladder. Keeping the trees at this low height of only 6 feet requires a significant investment of time in pruning.