Favor the lengthening of existing branches by suppressing the vigor of new side branches. Favor branches that grow upward over ones that dangle down. And control the sharing of energy through the whole tree to favor bright branches over shaded ones.

Favor bright

Light is essential to trees, and they have several tricks up their sleeves to find it. The Favor Bright is one of the strongest parameters in The Grove, with a big impact on the shape of your trees.

With favor bright at its fullest, the vigor of the branch is entirely up to the light it receives. Without getting any backup from the rest of the tree, an old branch can quickly dwindle when the growing tree overshadows itself. The loss of energy adds up, because a low vigor branch will also create less leaves with less capacity for photosynthesis.

Turn it down to more freely share energy through the tree. Bright branches on top will support the branches below and keep them healthy for longer.

With favor end, the tree favors the extension of existing branches, by reducing the initial vigor of new side branches. This is a good starting point to make a tree fight for light. Without it, trees grow more bushy. But Favor End also strengthens the effect of Favor Bright, because the side branches will get less vigor to start with, which is hard to overcome when the tree doesn’t support weaker branches.

Control the flow

Trees regulate growth with hormones, which are molecules that flow through the branches and have an effect on the cells they reach. They are a means of communication, giving the sensory parts of the tree a way to tell the other parts what to do.

Branch ends are the senses and the brains of the tree, and they use a hormone called auxin to tell the rest of their branch what to do. Auxin travels down the branch and slows the development of side buds, while the end itself grows with full vigor. Creating smaller side branches and directing most energy to upward growth helps the tree grow taller and win the race for light. If you cut off the end of a branch, the hormone is gone and side buds will grow freely. When pruning a hedge for example, this cuts off all the branch ends and enables the many side buds to grow, resulting in dense foliage.

The scientific name for this effect is Apical Dominance. Simulate this effect with Favor End. It helps the tree get a good start in growing towards light. But when the tree grows older, a different effect shows up. The hormone that suppresses side branches only travels a limited distance from the branch tip that created it. After this, side branches can freely grow, and the tree now needs to favor the best performing branches, those with most leaves and those harvesting most light. These are the branches that will keep the tree healthy.