Pruning fruit trees is one of the most important gardening procedures. To do it correctly, you need to follow certain rules. It is important, for example, to have a clear idea of how to trim branches and whether it is necessary to perform pruning in summer and autumn. The procedure will pay off if it is performed regularly at the most appropriate times. When to trim trees in the garden, how to do it correctly, why do you need to trim fruit plants?
Why pruning of garden trees is performed
For what purpose are trees in the garden trimmed at all? It is necessary in order to:
- Make harvesting easier;
- Create favorable conditions for flowering and fruiting. Pruning promotes the emergence of new young stems and, consequently, increases the harvest;
- Allow more sunlight and air into the crown: a small bird should be able to fly through the center of the tree. Improved air movement prevents pests and diseases, and more light promotes
- uniform Ripening;
- Remove dead and diseased branches and stems, thereby rejuvenating the trees.
- To give the plant the desired shape.
Pruning trees in spring
Spring pruning of fruit crops is considered to be the most expedient and useful for the garden. It is important not to overdo it, because overzealousness can cause the tree to weaken or even die, not to mention a decrease in yield. Remember, for example, that 30-40 leaves of an apple tree provide the conditions for the ripening of only one fruit.
Timing of the procedure
Spring pruning will benefit the tree if it is carried out at the optimal time. When is the best time to start this procedure? If you start it too early, when low temperatures are still holding, the fruit crop may suffer from frost. If you delay pruning before the sap starts to flow, it will take a long time for the cut sites to “heal” after it has been done. The most suitable weather for pruning trees in the garden – clear, frostless, with temperatures not lower than -5 °С.
How to prepare equipment
In addition to respecting the timing, there are other important nuances, on which depends how productive the spring pruning of young and quite old trees in the garden will be. To carry out the procedure, you need first of all to have the appropriate equipment, which, among other things, must be properly prepared. The tools that you plan to use when pruning should be sharpened and disinfected. This is to avoid unnecessary injury and damage to the trees, and to avoid infecting the fruit crops. Sharpening of the tool will be of higher quality if, before it is done, to drop the cutting parts for some time in a solution of salt (1 tablespoon per 1 glass of water).
Features of pruning of young plants
Pruning young trees should be carried out carefully, avoiding excessive removal of branches and shoots. If the plant is still unfruitful, it is enough to get rid of sick, damaged, thickening the crown or interfering with the growth of the skeletal branches, as well as to shorten the annual growths. If it is necessary to remove a shoot completely, it is cut back to the ring, leaving no stumps. To avoid damaging the bark when cutting a thick branch, first make a notch on the underside and then saw it off completely with a hacksaw from above. Remove extra branches carefully so as not to damage the buds with the cutting tool. When pruning on the bud, the secateurs are brought in from the side of the adjacent branch, placing it at a 45° angle in the direction from the base to the top of the shoot. The cutting blade should be 1-2 mm below the base of the bud, the second blade 1-2 mm higher.
Which branches need to be removed?
The fruit tree should be rid of branches:
- Dried, sick and broken branches. The shoots affected by pests or diseases are better to remove immediately, along with the areas on which fungi, such as trout fungus, appeared. Stale breaks need to be treated. To do this, the broken branch is removed by pruning to translation, the cut surface is smoothed and a “dressing” of garden varnish or other compounds is applied;
- The weakest of the two growing next to each other and going in the same direction. If the branches are the same and there is a need to keep both, they are redirected by spreading them in different directions;
- The branches that represent the rootstock, as well as the shoots that grow below the grafting site. The rootstock should be removed before the tree becomes multi-stemmed;
- Crossing, rubbing against each other, growing inside the crown;
- That may pose a threat to property and human health.