Let's see, are eggs better for you than not..? Is salt a killer? Is red wine better than 'white?' Will coffee cause pancreatic cancer or is it a health food..? ...That's where I'm at in the water-shoot
debate! And yes, the last info I seen was as described: the shoots feed the tree and the fruit (from a Pome News
article â€“ I think
?). And the last I remember about eggs was that they were laden with cholesterol ... until a neighbor 'informed me' (three days ago) that's no longer true! But the following is hard to argue with:
"It was found that radioactive assimilates are not translocated directly from the water shoots to fruitlets situated on neighbouring spurs. These assimilates are taken up by growing water shoot tips and incorporated in the bark and wood of main limbs near the place of their production. Removing tips of water shoots or the leaves adjacent to fruitlets did not change the pattern of assimilate distribution.
What I've now learned: apple trees are wild. They'll simply grow
if given the chance, and like many other plants will only produce fruit/seed when stressed. So, the water-shoots are simply feeding themselves and their connective tissue. Theyâ€™re producing 'Tree' - and nothing else. They are intercepting light that would simply feed the 'prior tree' as they compete with the forest for light. It's up to us to stress them! â€¦To bend their shoots and make them feel its time to reproduce - or die!
So we contort them and limit their expansive growth by training and pruning (thinking out loud). So, all water-shoots may be snipped off at will, the faster the better -- thus allowing all available light to color and feed fruit and spurs. No water-sucker 'energy' is stored in the root system..? They send nothing to the existing tree thus itâ€™s beneficial to remove them immediately..?
In the long history of apple growing it seems a very easy experiment to plant two 'identical' trees side by side; immediately remove any/all water-suckers from one and let the other grow wild. Who fruits, who thrives, or who just plain survives..? Maybe it's out there? For me, moderation in all things ~ But keep me posted, I'm learning too