Story: Apples and pears

Open-centre and central-leader trees

Open-centre and central-leader trees

Apples need adequate light to grow and ripen. Traditionally, orchardists pruned their trees into a vase shape with an open centre (top) to allow plenty of light through. However, as the trees matured the lower branches were excessively shaded. In the 1960s, New Zealand scientist Don McKenzie advocated training apple trees to a central leader form (bottom), which gave them a slender pyramid shape and allowed light to penetrate at all levels.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

John Palmer, 'Apples and pears - Rootstocks and tree management', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 January 2021)

Story by John Palmer, published 24 Nov 2008