Pruning of fruit-trees uses two main methods: pruning (shortening) and cutting (removal). When pruning, it should be taken into account that the stronger the pruning, the more branching will be in the next year. If the tree tends to branch a lot, it is better to cut out the whole branch. If you make a short trim (about a third of the branch length), few shoots will emerge at the top.
Strong pruning (leaving a third of the branch) will produce stronger shoots which spread out in different directions. Branches up to 40 cm in length are not usually trimmed. But if it is necessary to intensify growth, a fairly strong pruning should be done. Some fruit crops are characterized by low awakening of buds. I.e. annual growths are long, but branching occurs only in the upper part. In this case strong shortening stimulates branching and makes the crown more compact.
Types of fruit trees pruning
Pruning of fruit trees can be:
- Sanitary, when the cutting (removal) of branches affected by pests and diseases takes place;
- Supporting or regulating, performed in order to limit the size of the plant (when individual branches are shortened or trimmed). This procedure helps to prevent crown densification, maintain the ability of the crop to bear fruit regularly, and thin out the flowers and ovaries;
- Forming. This is essentially the creation of ornamental forms from trees on dwarf rootstock with the help of a framework and by repeated pruning;
rejuvenating, which allows to restore the ability to grow by significant shortening of branches in areas with optimal length of annual growth;
- Regenerative, in the form of rejuvenation of old plants, restoration of fruiting ability, reduction of tree height, formation of the crown or its part from wolves.
Is pruning done in summer and autumn
Beginning gardeners often have questions: is it necessary to prune garden trees in summer and autumn? Such pruning is quite acceptable, it all depends on the goals pursued. It is not uncommon for gardeners to prune plants in these seasons.
With the onset of the summer months, the growth of garden trees slows down. Nutrients are used up and the plant regenerates them by photosynthesis. Some of the energy produced goes to fuel summer growth, some goes into the roots to form a reserve for the following year. The lack of energy reserve at this time of year can be used, for example, to reduce the size of a tree that is too large. That is, if you did the main pruning in the spring, you can prune the tips of young growth in the summer if you need to limit its growth. But for removing large branches, spring is more appropriate.
To avoid harming trees with fall pruning, remember that whenever you cut a branch, such as an apple or pear tree, you are leaving a wound on the body of the plant. This is not a problem during the growing season, i.e. in spring: After a few days the wound will be covered by a layer of protective cells. In the fall, however, growth slows down and healing may not take place. So autumn is not the best time to trim branches on fruit crops, but in southern regions it is practiced. Autumn pruning, which usually takes place after the leaves have fallen, can be formative, rejuvenating or regenerative.
What a gardener will need for the job
Perform pruning should be done in comfortable clothing, which does not cramp the movements and does not cling to the branches. It is also better to wear special shoes with non-slip soles, a hat with a visor, gardening gloves and safety glasses. You may need a step ladder or other support to get the work done. When starting work, make sure the ladder is level and stable. It is better if you have a helper when pruning trees at height.