The Lorette System of Pruning - Louis Lorette, W. R. Dykes (translator) 1925 - Martin Hopkinson & Company Ltd., London - First Edition in English A rare first edition of this classic work which revolutionised the pruning of fruit trees, profusely illustrated throughout with a total of 129 photographs and diagrams. First published in French in 1914, and then into this First Edition in English in 1925.   ‘Louis Lorette was curator and professor at the Lycee Agricole in the district of Douai in France at the turn of the 20th century. Lorette noticed as a young man that well trained trees, pruned carefully each winter, produced much less fruit than standard trees that were left unpruned. Around 1898, Lorette began a series of experiments that showed that apple and pear tree buds formed at the base of a branch are more productive than those formed farther up the branch. In 1912, an article was published in the French gardening magazine Jardinage describing a new pruning system for apples and pears that had resulted in huge crops without the usual winter pruning.

Crowds of people turned up at the school to see for themselves, 3,000 that first season. The Lorette Method was controversial since it went against the establish rules of Pruning Science. In 1925, the first English version of Lorette's book was published.

Summary of the Lorette System
1. Don't prune in the winter, except for removing main branches from the framework of the tree.
2. Don't prune until around the middle of June. At this point in the season, leaves and new shoots are almost fully mature.
3. Only remove branches when they are pencil thickness. Makes cuts almost to the base of the branch. Fruit spurs will form as a result where each year fruit will form.
4. Every 30 days of the growing season after the first pruning, remove any branches that are now large enough.
In cool climates, a Modified Lorette System is practised: one pruning in mid-August to the third leaf of all pencil diameter branches, followed in winter by removal of those same branches down to almost the base where fruit spurs are forming.

How the system works and benefits of the system – New lateral shoots are allowed to almost mature, and this causes buds to convert to fruit spurs, instead of converting to to new shoots (vegetive growth). This conversion of buds to fruit spurs occurs in sequence along the length of a branch, with the first to convert being at the base of the branch. With winter-only pruning, fruit tends to form only at the end of branches, and the fruit is sparse. With the Lorette system, fruiting takes place at the base of branches giving the fruit better support via the main branches. Fruiting also happens earlier in the tree's life compared to winter-only pruning. Another advantage of the Lorette method is to open up the tree, giving fruit exposure to the sun (better color). [From an article by Mark Lee]

Small octavo (book size 22x15cm), pp. xliv 196. In publisher’s green cloth, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, all edges trimmed.
  Condition: Near fine, small mark to front board (looks like it is from production), minor rubbing to edges of boards, faint foxing to block edges and first and last few pages.   Ref: 105843   Price: HK$ 2,200