Scoring or Girdling

Scoring is cutting the bark around the circumference of a limb or the trunk down to the cambium layer. Girdling (also called ringing) is similar to scoring except a strip of bark is removed, usually about 6.4 millimeters wide, around the limb or trunk circumference. Both techniques interrupt the flow of carbohydrates to the root system, which slows root growth. Carbohydrates are diverted to buds. Reduced root growth slows movement of water, nutrients, and hormones to the shoots, thus affecting growth. The scored area produces new conducting tissues, reestablishing the connection between roots and shoots. Generally this occurs in midseason when terminal growth naturally slows or ceases. Scoring is used primarily in apple but recently has also been used in peach and nectarine to increase fruit size.

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