Training and Pruning in Coffee Gardens

 

Training

The plant is trained either on single stem or multiple stem system. Usually coffee, both arabica and robusta, is trained on single stem. When the plants reach a desired height of 75 cm for arabica and 105-120 cm for robusta, they are topped i.e., growing apex of the stem is severed. Low topping (60-70 cm) is advocated in areas of severe wind and exposure. Under certain circumstances, multiple stem system is also adopted as in the case of replanted fields or when under-planting is taken up keeping the old plants under multiple stem system.

Pruning

Pruning in coffee is done immediately after harvest and till the onset of monsoon. Pruning involves: -

A centering-removal of the vegetative growth upto 15 cm radius from the center and upto the first node of all primary branches

Desuckering- removal of orthotropic branches arising from the main trunk

Handling- removal of small sprouts arising from the axis of the leaves which otherwise grow towards the inner side and cause shade and become unproductive wood and

Nipping- growing tip of primary branches is removed to encourage secondary and tertiaries.

The type and frequency of pruning have to be decided based on a number of factors like the type of vegetative growth, incidence of pests / diseases, pattern of blossom showers etc. Centering and desuckering are to be carried out for about 5 or 6 years after planting. Removal of the dead and whippy wood is essential during the early years. Mature plants may require medium to severe pruning once in four years.

References Kerala Agricultural University. 2011. Package of Practices Recommendations: Crops. 14th edition. Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur- 360 p.