Huverba and a number of other parties (including Damcon) have successfully carried out the first practical test with a prototype of an avenue tree pruning machine.

The prototype consists of a frame with a pruning unit on it, similar to a binding frame. The pruning machine is connected to a mini-excavator for the test, to supply the required power and stability.

The pruning unit is placed around the bottom of the tree and lifted upwards. A long knife then revolves around the tree crown. After the first test was successfully concluded, the growers and mechanics involved discussed various points.

A tape is attached 2 m up the trunk on some types of tree. There must be sufficient room for the frame between that tape and the crown structure. In addition, the centring around the crown

must be better, as it was done purely by eye during the test.

Standardisation of the crowns is also necessary for mechanical pruning: by type, width and height of the crown.

Developments in TCO The avenue tree pruning machine is an innovative development at Tree Centre Opheusden. In the coming period, the companies involved will continue to work on a machine that is suitable for practical use.

Source: The Tree Nursery trade magazine