"Proper" pruning techniques for fruit trees: Opinions?
I was going to take a thread and go a bit off topic with this, but I think it deserves its own thread and should be discussed.
I guess the easiest way to say it, is to ask what specific pruning style is recommended (note: By general consensus) for the following popular fruit trees in home use:
The real problem I seem to be finding is the old "Legit source vs personal experience" debate.
I will use the example of the thread I mentioned. The OP was reluctant to top his peach tree, because the OP read online that open center pruning is best for peaches. I chimed in with information which I have read (uni pages and books) which agreed with the consensus on the thread as well. Ill admit maybe the reasoning was off, as I am still learning, but generally it went with what others were saying as far as I can tell. I then was responded with the "experience" argument. ( I will state here that I am by no means disrespecting, talking down or ignoring his many years experience, and that I undeniably respect his opinion)
The thing is, it isnt easy to basically choose between many university sheets on the subject, and someone who has many years experience. Especially when that person has helped on this site so much.
IT also doesnt help that for some trees there are no general recommendations. Peaches are the only trees which have a large number of Uni sheets which generally recommend open center pruning for peaches. Then apples are now generally pruned as central leader rather then the old common style - open center. The same ive found said about pear but both of these have some sites recommending others.
Once you start to look up cherries and plums the information gets less reliable, and harder to find. Even worse, if you get more specific ie: Euro plums vs Jap plums vs Hybrid plums, you cant seem to find much information at all. Then on top of that, some peoples experience on those trees contradicts those few papers you can find, as well as contradiction other peoples opinions on the matter.
I would like this thread to be used to respectfully discuss this topic, the university pages/grower recommendations, gardeners personal experiences and the reasonings behind them to clarify this issue for myself, and the many people that are probably having this problem..