Top leader regulation of Christmas trees
Regulating the length of the top leaders on your trees represents a large part of the work with Christmas trees.
Mechanical or chemical growth regulation?
In the first three growing seasons after the Christmas tree has been planted, the top leader only grows a little each year.
But in the 4th or 5th year of growth the length of the top leader will grow a lot more each year. The strong growth of the top often has the effect that the tree will grow too narrow and open according to the objectives pursued in the Christmas tree industry. This means that the tree will be downgraded or unsaleable and never gets the chance of becoming a real Christmas tree.
However, there are different means of growth regulation of the top leader which makes the tree saleable.
Chemical growth regulation with Easy Roller
In the growth season especially in May and June you can control the growth of the top leaders by applying a hormone onto the new top leader. With the correct dosage and timing you can reduce the growth of the top leader - or even stop it completely.
Doing this helps you grow a tree with short distance between the whorls.
You can apply the hormone with the Easy Roller.
Mechanical growth regulation with the Top-Stop pliers
Using the Top-Stop pliers you can make a special cut in the cambial ring of the top leader reducing the sap flow to the terminal bud, decreasing the length of the top leader growth by up to 30%. To be succesful with this kind of growth regulation it is crucial that you do this at the right time in the spring, when the top leader is about 5 cm long.
Mechanical regulation with the pliers has been tested and developed during many seasons.
Top leader regulation with Easy Roller
In this video it is shown how and when to treat your Christmas trees with hormone by using the Easy Roller.