THE PRUNING

Pruning

Cocoa propagated from seed is pruned to develop the preferred structure shown in the picture. Pruning is mainly used to limit tree height. The first jorquette should be formed at 1.5-2 m. Further chupons (suckers) are continually removed preventing subsequent jorquettes and restricting further vertical growth. It may be necessary to prune fan branches to maintain an even structure and remove low hanging branches. The end result is a tree with a canopy height that is convenient to manage. Vegetatively-propagated plants have a different structure and will require different management. There is little evidence that pruning strategies promote high yields. Mechanical pruning (hedging) is not practiced.

Pruning is done to increase cacao production. Reduce pest and diseases infestation. Control the shape and height of the tree. Control the shape and height of the tree, to ensure easy access for harvesting

1. Pruning cocoa trees can increase production, make tree maintenance easier, and reduce pest infestation and diseases

2. Maintenance pruning starts with regularly removing the low hanging branches or those that grow downwards.

3. Second remove regularly the chupons on the stem.

4. Also remove all shoots and additional branches that are within 60 cm of the jorquette. Removal of shoots is necessary to avoid production of non-essential branches.

5. Furthermore, it is important to remove regularly all dead, diseased and badly damaged branches.

6. Top pruning of the highest branches ( up to 4 meters) in order to keep the tree short for easy regular harvesting and maintenance.

7. In addition to this it is recommended to open the center of the tree by pruning in the shape of a champagne glass in order to reduce humidity and increase sunshine.

8. The cocoa pod borer does not like the sunshine and increased wind. The additional sunshine to the stem will increase flowering as well.

9. The best time for heavy pruning is after the high production cycle, approximately one month before the rainy season. After pruning it is recommended to apply fertilizer.

10. Pruning has to be done regularly and correctly, results in more pods on the tree with less infestation and diseases.

WELL PRUNED TREES

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