It is necessary to take care of garden trees throughout the year. How rich the harvest will be and how many years the garden tree will live is directly influenced by the correctness and timeliness of care. Pruning trees is of no small importance, because it depends on it how correctly the crown of the plant will be formed. It is necessary to start forming the crown already in a very young plant, its main task is to stimulate the strongest branches to grow, as well as to fruiting, while those that interfere with growing in the wrong direction, as well as sick, injured and old ones, are necessary cutting down. In order for the tree to have an even distribution of strength, as well as nutrition, it is necessary not only to feed it in a timely manner and protect it from harmful insects and various diseases, but also to systematically and correctly cut it in the fall. So, on those horticultural crops on which there is a well-formed crown, a larger number of fruits grow, and they are of the highest quality.
First you need to figure out what pruning is? This is the process of removing an entire shoot or a branch or part of it. This method of care is used for both fruit trees and ornamental trees and shrubs. Pruning is involved in the regulation of growth, development and fruiting of these plants. The purposes of pruning can be both formative and sanitary, since a tree or shrub after this procedure is freed from those branches that can harm it. If the tree is old enough, then gardeners use rejuvenating pruning, after which the plant gains new strength, while the quantity and quality of the fruit remains practically at the same level. This procedure is recommended to be carried out in the spring and autumn, but there are times when it is simply necessary for garden culture in the summer months. It should be noted that pruning a tree in the fall is possible only if the winter is rather mild and warm in this area. In the northern regions, experts advise to carry out this procedure in the spring. The fact is that a sharp drop in air temperature after autumn pruning leads to the fact that in those places where the branches were cut, the bark freezes, and the wood also dries up, and the result is the death of the plant. There are types of horticultural crops that need to be cut once or twice a year, but there are also those that do not need such frequent pruning. Pruning, like other agricultural techniques, has certain rules. So, you just need to know when and how a certain garden crop is pruned.
Features of autumn pruning of fruit crops
Apple trees are pruned in spring, and sometimes in summer, when ripening apples have a lack of light due to a too dense crown. And it is also held in the autumn. In the spring, before the sap flow begins, the branches that have frozen over the winter are removed, and also at this time they form a crown. In autumn, the apple tree is pruned in November and, as a rule, the crown is sanitized. In this case, pruning in the fall can begin only after the end of the leaf fall. The columnar apple tree should be pruned either in the first days of summer or before winter.
In the autumn, you need to remove those branches that are old, injured, sick or with traces of decay. Since the plant is dormant at this time, this procedure does absolutely no harm to it.
An approximate plan for an autumn pruning of an apple tree:
If the apple tree is young, then with the help of a pruner, only weak pruning is done to it, while the growth of this year should be shortened by ¼ part. After that, these specimens are not pruned for 3-5 years, cutting off only dried and injured branches. However, this is only if the tree does not grow in height too quickly. Those apple trees that are 5-6 years old need pruning of medium intensity - strong branches are shortened by 1/3 of their length. Old apple trees are pruned for rejuvenation in 3 stages. So, in the first year, you need to remove approximately 1/3 of all old branches, in the second year, another 1/3 of the old branches, and the remaining 1/3 after another 1 year. It is worth considering that the pruning shears cannot cope with adult powerful branches; here you cannot do without a saw. It should also be remembered that the tools that are used for pruning branches must be very sharp and should be disinfected.
Regarding the care of columnar apple trees, it must be remembered that the more intensive the pruning is, the faster and better the remaining branches will grow. In the event that you cut more than ½ part of the branch, then out of those 3 or 4 buds that remain, strong shoots will grow next spring. If less than ½ part of the branch is removed, then of those 5-7 buds that remain, 5-7 medium-sized shoots will grow. It is forbidden to cut off the central conductor of the column, otherwise the branching of the crown will begin. If, when forming, they want to achieve a columnar crown, then after planting the seedling, its crown shoot must be tied to a support. From the side shoots, the formation of fruit links should be made. Overly powerful shoots must be cut into a ring, because they can delay the growth of the conductor. After the young shoots grow, they form the skeleton of the crown.
Autumn pruning of trees. How to prune an apple tree in the fall
Those gardeners who still have too little experience believe that you need to prune a pear in the same way as an apple tree, but they are wrong. The pear tree, like the apple tree, should not be pruned annually. For sanitary purposes, you can cut a pear in the fall only if it is still warm outside. In the same case, if frosts have already come, this procedure must be postponed until next spring, since pruning of a pear tree at sub-zero temperatures is not performed. If you nevertheless cut off the branches, then the places of the cuts will not be able to heal, and at the same time the branches themselves will freeze and die. The best time to prune this garden crop is in spring, when it will be warmer than 8 degrees outside. In the case when the tree needs to be pruned in the fall, this can only be done in September. During the pruning carried out in order to form the crown, it must be remembered that the pyramidal shape is more convenient for harvesting fruits.
The formation of the crown of a tree should be started from the first year of its life, while it is necessary to immediately select the skeletal branches, because this will allow the crown to develop not only correctly, but also symmetrically. Annual plants are pruned at a height of 40 to 50 centimeters from the soil surface. In those pears that are 2 years old, it follows from the existing 6–8 lateral branches to leave only 3 or 4, which will take on the role of skeletal ones. They should be trimmed at the same level. The conductor should be trimmed 20 centimeters higher than the skeletal branches. Autumn pruning of mature pear trees is usually done for sanitary purposes only. So, at this time, you should cut off the branches that thicken the crown, as well as injured and sick. It is also recommended to shorten the crown and annual shoots by 1/3 part, but only if the pear tree stretches too much upward, this helps to strengthen the plant, as well as enhance branching, while the buds will begin to develop more quickly. But at the same time, try not to disturb the shape of the crown, which should be pyramidal, during the procedure. After the pruning is completed, it is necessary to smear the places of the cuts, as well as the existing cracks and damage on the surface of the bark with garden pitch. In this case, adult dry branches must be processed immediately, and young ones - after 24 hours.
Rejuvenating pruning of an old pear tree begins by shortening the top. However, if the annual pruning is done correctly, the crown should be at the optimum height. In this case, it is only necessary to thin the crown, for this, all old and dried branches are cut out, as well as those that do not bear fruit and grow at an acute angle or parallel to the trunk, the same shoots that remain must be cut off by ¼ part. Processing must be done with paint made on linseed oil, or with garden varnish. Such pruning for old trees is recommended in spring, since in this case the plant will tolerate it less painfully, but this procedure must be carried out before the buds wake up, and the air temperature outside should be at least 5 degrees.
Plums should also be pruned, like other horticultural crops, and this procedure is performed when necessary at different times of the year. Spring pruning is carried out before the buds open, at this time those parts of the branches that are frozen should be removed, and it is also necessary to prepare the plum for a period of active growth, forming a crown. In the summertime, if there are too many fruits, pruning may be necessary in order to prevent branches from breaking off. After the end of leaf fall in the autumn, it is necessary to prepare this garden culture for wintering.
By pruning plums in the fall, the gardener not only prepares them for the coming winter, but also helps to increase yields. After the plant stops growing and all the leaves fall off, the plant begins to prepare for sleep. At this time, injured, dry, damaged by insects and diseased branches should be cut from the tree, and the top should also be shortened, but this is only if the height of the tree exceeds 250 centimeters. After that, you need to shorten overly fast growing shoots, as well as cut off competing shoots, because in spring they will begin to grow and this will lead to thickening of the crown, which will make the light flow much worse. In young plums, the upper and lateral shoots should be shortened by no more than 1/3 part, while the branches that grow inside the crown must be cut off completely. Pruning of old branches is carried out in the spring, but if desired, during the autumn pruning, you can remove the stem branches that have not borne fruit this year, as well as cut off dry or diseased shoots. Those branches that have been cut must be destroyed. Places of cuts must be processed. If the plum tree is old, it is better to postpone pruning until spring. The fact is that the wounds on them no longer heal so quickly, and in most cases gum begins to flow out of them, as a result of this, the onset of frosts can ruin a plant that could bear fruit for many more years.
Cherries should not be pruned every year. If there is a need for formative or rejuvenating pruning, then this procedure should be carried out in the spring. In autumn, pruning can only be carried out for sanitary purposes. In the event that the winters are mild and warm, then in such areas the plant can be pruned in October. And in the northern regions, where frosty winters are observed, autumn pruning must be done in September. You can start cutting the plant immediately after the end of the leaf fall, but at the same time, if frosts should begin in the near future, then this procedure should be postponed until the spring.
Those seedlings that are not pruned for only 1 year in autumn, the fact is that they are not able to recover quickly, and the onset of frost can destroy them. For older cherries, cut all but the 5 strongest branches, which should point to the sides. Moreover, they should grow no closer than 10 centimeters from each other. Sanitary pruning of adult cherries is carried out only if necessary, while it is necessary to cut off dry, injured, as well as diseased branches. In the fall, you should cut out all the shoots, because it makes the plant weaker, while in winter small rodents, as well as various pests, like to hide in it. In the case when the plant is rooted, its growth is quite suitable for planting, because it is able to preserve all the varietal characteristics of the parent plant. In a grafted plant, the shoots should not be used for planting, and it must be removed, as it can cause significant harm to the cherry. Formative pruning of young cherries is done in spring. At the same time, pruning of old plants is also postponed, which is carried out in order to rejuvenate them.
Apricot pruning is done in spring, summer and autumn. At the same time, in spring, pruning should be thorough, it includes formative, sanitary and, if necessary, rejuvenating. In the summer, the plant is cut off only when there is a danger that the branches will break off due to the large number of fruits. In the fall, pruning is carried out for sanitary purposes, it prepares the plant for the coming winter.
Before you start pruning the branches, you need to think about what kind of shape the crown of the plant should have - tiered or tiered. In the event that there is not very much space in the garden, then it is recommended to give the apricot crown a cupped shape; for this, the branches should be shortened by about ½ part. In autumn, the apricot needs sanitary pruning, for this you need to remove injured, sick, dry branches, and you also need to thin out the crown, for this you need to remove those branches and shoots that grow inward. But at the same time, it should be remembered that such a plant is very fond of heat; therefore, deep cuts cannot be applied. If, nevertheless, this happened, then the wound should be smeared with copper sulfate, and then with garden pitch to prevent the gum from flowing out.
Peach pruning can be done in summer, autumn and spring. In spring, the plant needs formative pruning, and those branches that have been damaged by frost should also be removed. At the same time, if necessary, rejuvenating pruning is performed for old peaches. In the summer, the plant is pruned if necessary. In the fall, the peach must be prepared for the coming winter.
In autumn, it is necessary to cut off all branches that are not needed, as well as those that have been damaged by pests or diseases. Cut branches must be destroyed, do not forget to coat the places of cuts on the plant with oil paint or garden varnish.
Formative pruning should be done in the spring. In the fall, it is necessary to carry out sanitary, as well as mandatory anti-aging pruning (most experts advise). But there is also such an opinion that in the autumn, pruning should be done only in extreme cases, to get rid of the plant from the branches injured and affected by the disease or pests. If this plant is cut very strongly in the fall, then this can lead to a slowdown in its fruiting. Which of the options for autumn pruning of cherries to choose, the gardener himself must decide. For example, in the autumn, you can do a rejuvenating pruning, but if something does not suit you in the state of the plant, then postpone this procedure until spring for the next year.
Experts advise to give the crown of the plant a conical shape, while the base should be wide. In this case, the plant will have enough light and heat, and the air circulation inside the crown will also improve. And if desired, the crown can be cupped or in the form of a tier. In autumn, when leaf fall ends, it is necessary to remove all injured, dry and diseased branches and stems. For rejuvenation, you need to cut out on the ring those branches that are 6-8 years old, while the places of the cuts need to be smeared with oil paint or garden varnish.
It should be remembered that the main pruning of various fruit crops must be done in spring, with the exception of the apple and pear tree. In this case, it should be above zero on the street, but you need to be in time before the kidneys swell. The fact is that in the warmth, wounds on these plants heal better and faster. In autumn, however, most often it is recommended to delete only unnecessary branches. This pruning principle is applicable not only to the above-described plants, but also to sea buckthorn, cherry plum, mulberry, quince, irga, viburnum, etc.
There are several different types of pruning used for horticultural crops, namely: regulating, restorative, shaping, rejuvenating and sanitary.
A garden pitch is smeared on the places of cuts and wounds, while the layer should be about 0.3-0.5 centimeters thick. Currently, experts are increasingly advising to replace this agent with latex paint, which contains copper salts, or you can use "artificial bark" - this agent accelerates the recovery processes, and also protects the wound from excessive drying, as well as from the ingress of pathogenic microorganisms into it and water.
CHERRY, SIMPLE PRUNING METHOD. We form cherries that are easy to care for.
Plum pruning serves several purposes and must be done without fail. It is carried out in spring, summer or autumn and is always aimed at improving the fruiting of the tree. Novice gardeners often underestimate the need for this procedure, which is why they cannot boast of a large harvest.
Sometimes it seems that the plum is already compact, and therefore there is no need to engage in its formation. However, the peculiarity of the tree to densely intertwine the branches, creating intense shading in the crown, becomes the reason for the non-ripening of the fruits and their damage on the root. Also, the excessive density of the crown becomes the reason for the active reproduction of the moth in it, since in such a thicket of branches it is not very easy for birds to hunt insects.
In some way, each pruning is stressful for the plant, but it can be used to regulate the time of fruiting and the overall development of the tree trunk. Remember, every coin has two sides, for example, if you eliminate branches that grow in the wrong direction and add excessive density to the crown, while not applying the shortening of the annual growth, then this strategy will significantly speed up the time when the tree begins to yield. Especially when compared to instances to which such methods were not applied. However, this is fraught with the fact that the crown will be ankle and unstable, and the branches will be characterized by weakness and a small interval of life, which differs little from a representative of the flora that is not cut off at all.
Inexperienced gardeners often sin when pruning by greatly shortening the branches. If in a young and actively growing nut one-year-old growth is shortened in large quantities and without any reason, this will lead to unnecessary crown density and a delayed onset of fruiting. If the variety is characterized by fruits at the very end of long branches, then fanatical shortening will lead to a significant decrease in the amount of fruit. In addition, you should be aware that thoughtless pruning reduces the tolerance to cold in the winter. Strong pruning is only justified if the plant is young, but its growth is weak.
It should be borne in mind that if you combine a tenderloin with a slight or medium pruning of one-year growth, then this will slightly delay (maximum - by 2 years) fruiting during the first couple of harvests, but not their level as a whole. The advantages of this will be a superbly folded crown, characterized by strength, besides, the branches will be more stable, and the fruits on them are larger.
If the gardener wants to achieve that the fruits are invariably large, it is necessary to intensively prune the annual growth every year, however, take into account that the total yield from a particular tree will significantly decrease. In such trees, the crown becomes dense, you have to spend a lot of time eliminating unnecessary branches, which will weaken the yield potential.
Before you start pruning, you need to learn how to make the right cut. The diagrams show sections for the bud (when cutting off a part of the shoot) and for the ring (when you need to completely cut out the branch). Below you will see how to do the correct trim for the ring.
When the branch is partially removed, pruning is used for the bud. The approximate cutting angle is 45 degrees, which will reduce the likelihood of rotting. The direction is outward of the crown, this will prevent the subsequent thickening of the tree.
And now we will consider in detail what to cut on cherries and tree cherries in the fall. We will tell you about bush cherry separately.
So, the main purpose of autumn pruning is reorganization and thinning. It is necessary to remove some of the extra branches so that the plant does not waste energy on maintaining ballast. Examine the tree carefully and remove:
Also, it will not be superfluous to remove tops (powerful fattening shoots), young shoots on the trunk, lower branches at forks and intersecting shoots. These cases are clearly shown in the diagram.
Do not try to delete all of the above in one go, since such global pruning of young cherries and cherries in the fall can weaken the trees and even lead to their death. Better to do the work in stages, paying attention to a specific problem each year. Do not touch small shoots until spring.
Pruning old cherries and cherries in the fall has a special feature. If the trees are already very tall, it is necessary to cut 60-90 cm from the tops, leaving up to 3 m of the main trunk. Young trees can be subjected to such a procedure only two years after planting and provided that the trunk grows at least 75 cm annually. Pruning old cherries and sweet cherries in the fall is usually limited to thinning. However, if necessary, you can also shorten shoots that are too long using the bud cut method (cut no more than 1 m at the same time). This will redistribute nutrients and increase yields.
When pruning young cherries and sweet cherries in the fall, it is important to pay more attention to thinning, but now you can calculate how you will carry out spring formative pruning.
After pruning, the crown of the tree will become more transparent. Each branch will receive more light and there will be no risk that weak shoots will freeze or break under the snow in winter.
Cherry and sweet cherry seedlings are not pruned in autumn, but if necessary, you can carefully remove the interfering or dry branch.
Plums are not distinguished by long-term fruiting, and only properly pruned pruning can prolong the life of the culture. It is especially important to remove the intertwined branches that thicken the crown: this will help to make fruiting more abundant and lasting.
This article will describe the basic rules and features of pruning plums depending on the season and age, and photos, videos and detailed diagrams will help you carry out the procedure correctly.
Plum is a fairly popular and widespread fruit tree in the garden plots of our country. And although it does not differ in its impressive size or longevity, it just needs care like other fruit trees. The formation of the crown takes a special place in the care.
The thing is that the branches of this small tree very often intertwine, thickening the crown, which, in turn, leads to a decrease in fruiting and even the death of the entire tree. Indeed, in this case, the sensitivity of the tree to the cold in winter increases on the shoots, ice can form, breaking them.
Figure 1. Correct tree formation depending on age
In spring and summer, a shadow forms in the thickened crown, interfering with the growth of young branches, as a result of which the tree gradually withers. That is why pruning is necessary to ensure normal growth and fruiting, some points of which are highlighted in this article.
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Regardless of in what time frame and by what method the process is carried out, there are some general rules that will help you in carrying out this procedure (Figure 1).
Subsequently, pruning is carried out on a side branch at a height of 2.5 - 3 meters.
The type of trimming depends on the objectives pursued. So, the forming is intended for the design of the crown of a fruit tree. The purpose of the regulator is to keep the plant in good condition.
Rejuvenating helps to restore the fruiting of an old tree.
To remove dry and broken shoots, they resort to restorative pruning, but the sanitary goal is to eliminate the sick and affected by pests or diseases, shoots.
There are three methods for deleting branches, which are independent of the view (picture 2):
Figure 2. Trimming to the ring and to the kidney (from left to right)
To carry out the procedure correctly, you need to use a special scheme developed by gardeners to maintain the health and fruiting period of the tree.
The pruning scheme for plums is similar to that for cherries (Figure 3).
So, in the first years after planting, the formation is carried out, equalizing the main branches and removing the length of the annual growths, as well as removing the tops of strong shoots.
After the tree enters the fruiting period, pruning is carried out to enhance growth. So, if the growth is less than 20 cm, the branches are cut to 2-year-old wood above the side branch.
Figure 3. Step-by-step diagram for pruning plums
However, if the growth is intensive (about 40 cm), it becomes necessary to dilute the crown. In addition, in the process, twisted and shaded branches should be removed, and for mature specimens, in which the growth of skeletal branches is less than 15 cm, a rejuvenating procedure is performed.
To carry out the pruning, you will need the following tools: a small and large garden hacksaw, a pruner, a delimber, and a garden knife. All listed tools must be clean and sharp.
In addition, in the process, you will need a garden varnish to treat the wounds. Therefore, you need to stock up on them in advance.
Plum pruning can be carried out at any time of the year, depending on its type, weather and climatic conditions and the age of the tree. You should be aware that the procedure at different times of the year is aimed at implementing different tasks.
So, in the spring we prepare a fruit tree for the growing season, in the summer we help to grow the crop, and in the fall we help prepare for the winter. The features of seasonal pruning will be discussed below.
The best time for the spring procedure is the end of March - the beginning of April, when the tree has finally left the dormant period, but has not yet entered the growing season (Figure 4).
Note: It is carried out in two stages: thinning and shortening. At the first stage, excess shoots and branches that grow vertically upward and thicken the crown are removed. At the second stage, they are engaged in pruning last year's growths in order to stimulate the formation of new fruit branches. Figure 4. Scheme of spring pruning of plums
When forming the base of a sparse-tiered crown of a tree, 5-7 large branches are left, which are at an angle of 40-50 degrees from the trunk.
In this case, it will be best if the main and skeletal branches are directed in different directions, and the distance between them is 20 cm.
On the lower tier, 2 branches should be placed at the same level, and on the upper tier, two branches should be located at different levels.
The author of the video will tell you how to properly carry out spring pruning.
It is carried out at the end of the growing season, after the leaves have fallen off. As a rule, work is carried out in mid-September. First of all, you should remove all dry, damaged and broken branches, and also cut off the top of the tree if it is too elongated. Then you can start removing the fast-growing shoots, cutting them off by a third of their length.
If the autumn pruning is the first after planting, then you must first shorten the main trunk by a third, and then shorten the remaining shoots by two-thirds of their length. For old trees, rejuvenation is carried out, during which all damaged or diseased branches are removed.
Finally, all trees should be pruned with regulating pruning, the purpose of which is to thin the crown by removing fast growing shoots. Remember that all cut branches should be removed and burned to prevent possible spread of infection.
You should also know that in the central and northern regions of Russia, it is better to postpone autumn pruning to the spring.
Recently, the so-called winter pruning, which is carried out at the end of February at an air temperature of at least 15 degrees below zero, has become increasingly popular.
The following advantages of the procedure are called: a better view of the crown due to the absence of leaves, minimal stress for the tree, because frozen branches are easier to cut, and the wood does not rip up at the cuts. In addition, in winter it is much easier to get close to the crown of a tree without fear of harming neighboring crops.
Summer pruning fulfills its tasks and is good in that it makes it possible to clearly see the places of thickening of the crown and branches affected in winter. Usually it is carried out in June, however, if circumstances require it, the tree can be pruned during any summer month.
So, at the end of July, it is recommended to shorten the lateral shoots of the plant planted in the current year by 18-20 cm, without touching the guide. In the second year of life, the timing and method are repeated with the additional removal of excess shoots. If the tree has been affected by pests or diseases, sanitary cleaning is necessary, which can be carried out when necessary.
In addition to the nuances of seasonal pruning, it is also necessary to know the peculiarities of age cleaning of plums, because young seedlings and mature specimens need different care.
Thus, formative pruning for a young tree in the first year of its life is of great importance for further development and fruiting, while the old plum needs rejuvenation. Consider the features of age pruning.
Plums are not long-lived among fruit crops, so a tree that has lived for 15 years is considered old. Its crown is already formed, so only broken and damaged branches can be removed. However, if the crop has become small, or the fruits are located only at the top of the crown, it is time to carry out anti-aging pruning (Figure 5).
Figure 5. Anti-aging pruning rules
First of all, you will have to cut down old skeletal branches, while the rejuvenation procedure should be carried out over several seasons, since a large number of simultaneously received wounds can lead to the death of the tree.
To minimize damage, large branches are first sawed from below, and then the length is removed from above.
Subsequently, young shoots are formed at the site of the healed wound, which are thinned out in July, leaving several of the strongest ones.
The first pruning of a seedling is carried out immediately after planting. The next one is planned for next year. However, you should be aware that the shoots of the culture have the peculiarity of growing heterogeneously, so pruning may be needed earlier than in a year, that is, it will be unplanned.
As for the central trunk, it is shortened once a year so that it stands out from other shoots. In other words, in the first year of the life of the plum, the foundation is laid for the growth and development of skeletal branches, and in the third year, for the branches of the second tier. In this case, during the formation of the crown, improperly growing shoots and tops should be removed.
Tops are called strong fattening shoots that appear on skeletal branches and grow vertically (Figure 6). They are formed from dormant buds or after damage to the tree, grow quickly and violently, taking away the strength of the tree and thickening the crown.
Their distinctive feature is large leaves and poorly developed buds, located at a great distance from each other. In addition, such shoots never bear fruit.
You should know that increased watering and excessive feeding with nitrogen fertilizers can provoke the appearance of tops.
Figure 6. Methods for trimming tops on the drain
In order to dilute and lighten the crown, as well as to form young branches, additional shoots (tops) should be removed in such cases:
Lignified tops are cut to a ring during the summer, young ones can simply be broken out with your hands.
You can find more helpful tips on pruning plums in the video.