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.
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