Culling – The Removal Of Fruit
By Tony Tomeo

 

Culling, removal of superfluous fruit, is similar to deadheading, but diverts resources to remaining fruit rather than to floral or vegetative parts. Many fruit trees benefit from selective culling while fruit is beginning to develop during more productive seasons. More fruit would otherwise be produced, but it would be of inferior quality.

Larger fruit that is crowded, such as apples, pears and peaches, generally require more culling. Citrus and small fruit, such as cherries, generally do not require culling. Monster pumpkins epitomize culling because the vines that would normally produce several fruit are compelled to concentrate all their resources into one pumpkin that would please Cinderella’s chauffer.

My grandfather typically produced zucchini that looked and tasted like baseball bats, not by culling, but by  simply not harvesting the primary fruit when it was juvenile. Fruit that is produced progressively through the season should not be culled, but should be harvested as early as practical to promote Pruning_CullingTheRemovalOfFruit_MarcelmooijIDreamstime.comdevelopment of more fruit. Many young and tender zucchini are better than one baseball bat.


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