All about pruning apricot

All about pruning apricot

Pruning is the most important element of caring for fruit trees. And apricot is no exception. As a result of a properly performed procedure, fruiting improves, the quality of the fruit increases, and the life of the tree is extended. According to the technique of execution, pruning of an apricot is somewhat different from pruning of other fruits, which is associated with the peculiarities of its physiological structure and functioning. Everyone can independently master and perform this difficult agrotechnical technique by studying the materials of this article.

Key goals of apricot pruning

There has long been no dispute between gardeners and specialists about the need for pruning fruit crops. Apricot has several specific features that make this procedure necessary:

  1. Photophilousness: apricot does not tolerate thickening of the crown. If the tree does not have enough light, its branches dry out, the budding of flower buds is weak.
  2. Features of fruit formation: the crop is formed mainly on annual shoots of various lengths, on spurs and bouquet branches. The latter do not live long and die after 2–5 years, which is why the branches become bare.
  3. Lack of self-feeding of the crop: almost all ovaries bear fruit. As a result, the tree is overloaded and the branches break off. Subsequently, the intensity of the laying of generative buds decreases, there is no growth of new shoots, the fruitful ovaries thin out.

A consistently high yield of apricots can only be obtained with regular pruning.

What happens to apricots without pruning procedures? In the first 3-4 years, the plant actively grows its crown and gives high yields. Then the state of the tree deteriorates sharply: the crown grows, its middle will be bare, and the circle is too thick. The branches will be thin and long. Fruits will lose their quality characteristics, become small and form only on the periphery. The intensity of fruiting will vary: in some years the tree will be dotted with fruits, in others it will rest.

Based on the described features of apricot, pruning as a preventive measure is designed to solve the following tasks:

  • improve air access and light transmission of the tree;
  • to ensure the growth of young shoots for laying buds;
  • normalize the congestion of branches with fruits;
  • reduce the risk of disease and pest damage;
  • extend the life of the tree;
  • simplify the harvesting process;
  • to increase the decorative attractiveness of the plant.

The basic principle and rules of pruning

The main principle that makes it possible to improve the fruiting of a tree is that at least one third of the branches must be cut off annually. As gardeners say: The more you prune, the more it grows.

In order for pruning to be effective, the following rules should be followed:

  1. The branch incision should be made at a distance of no more than 6 mm from the bud.
  2. The number of branches removed every year should increase by about 20%. This will ensure an increase in the volume and quality of the fruit.
  3. Branches older than 6 years should be removed. All damaged and dried fruit branches are also subject to pruning.
  4. The pruning tool must be sterile and sharpened to a razor-sharp condition.
  5. It is better to coat the places of the cuts with garden varnish. It is not recommended to use paint for this purpose, as it can be toxic to the plant.

Types of pruning apricot

Depending on the goals set, pruning is divided into several types:

  • formative;
  • regulatory;
  • anti-aging;
  • sanitary.

These varieties also differ in terms and technique of the procedure. As a rule, in practice, these types of trimming are not carried out separately, but are combined with each other.

Formative pruning of apricot

The main purpose of this type of pruning is to give the crown of the tree the desired shape and stimulate the growth of fruit branches. Formative activities are carried out on young trees and continue until they enter the fruiting period.

The crown is formed in the spring before bud break. In this case, the gardener decides for himself what shape to make the crown: in the form of a bush or a bowl-shaped one.

Formation of an apricot by a bush

Often, gardeners adhere to a discharged-tiered crown formation system:

  • two branches remain in the tiers, the divergence angle of which is 180 ̊0;
  • the distance between the skeletal branches should be 30–40 cm;
  • skeletal branches should not be under each other;
  • the upper shoots should not be longer than the lower ones, so as not to shade the latter.

When using a low-tiered pruning system, the crown of an adult tree will resemble a bush

To obtain a crown of this shape, pruning will be required within 3-4 years.

Video: bushy pruning of apricot

Formation of apricot crown in the form of a bowl

Apricots can also be cupped. Such pruning improves the access of light, provides good ventilation of the crown, which accelerates the ripening of the fruit.

The cutting sequence to shape the crown into a bowl is as follows:

  1. In the first year, 4–5 skeletal branches are selected, located at the same level, which will serve as the base of the bowl. The rest of the shoots are cut out.
  2. To form a branch, starting from the second year, the selected branches are shortened at a distance of 50 cm from the trunk. This procedure is repeated for 2 more years in a row.
  3. When the cupped shape has been reached, the center conductor is cut out.

The formation of a cupped crown greatly simplifies harvesting

There is also an improved cupped pruning. The difference lies in the location of the skeletal branches: they are reduced to 3 pieces and they should be located at different levels with a distance of 20 cm from each other.

Regulatory trim

Regulatory pruning is done to maintain a balance between growth and fruit formation. It is carried out on mature trees that yield crops.

Rejuvenating apricot pruning

A characteristic feature of apricot is that on old trees the crop moves to the upper and lateral shoots, which is caused by drying out and weakening of annual growth. In this case, anti-aging pruning is performed. To rejuvenate the apricot tree you need:

  1. Thin the crown strongly: remove the thickening, crisscrossing branches that go into the crown. In this case, it is better to remove 1–2 large branches than a large number of small branches.
  2. Cut out the center conductor at a height of 3–3.5 m.
  3. Remove all side shoots on the two lower tiers.
  4. Remove all overgrowth on the trunk, at a height of 0.5 m from the ground.

Rejuvenating pruning is recommended in early spring, before bud break. It is allowed to carry out this procedure in the summer with a deadline of 5 June.

Video: spring pruning of old apricots

Sanitary pruning

The task of sanitary pruning is to clean the tree from dried, frozen branches damaged by diseases or pests. These events can be held at any time, except for the winter season.

When is it better to prune an apricot: timing

Experienced gardeners point out that pruning is best done in early spring before the start of sap flow and in summer after the end of fruiting.

The exact timing of spring pruning varies depending on the climatic conditions of the place of growth: from the beginning of March to the end of April. You should focus on the air temperature (not lower than +60Happy day, above 00With night) and no risk of recurrent frost.

Summer pruning is done when the fruits are already harvested - around mid-June. Such a procedure will provide abundant growth, while the tree will have time to fully recover and lay generative buds on the emerging shoots of the second wave.

It is important to consider that summer pruning will only be effective when the tree is not lacking in moisture and nutrients.

Autumn pruning of early and mid-season apricots is carried out by residents of the southern regions around mid-October. In the north, apricots are not cut in autumn. This limitation is due to two points:

  • the tree is trying to heal the wound and send nutrients there instead of properly preparing for the winter;
  • the places of cuts are very vulnerable to cold weather, therefore, with a sharp onset of frost, the tree may even die.

In winter, pruning the apricot is not recommended.

Formative pruning according to the age of the apricot

Annual manipulations for the formation of the apricot crown are carried out taking into account the age of the plant.

The initial pruning is carried out at the time of planting a young seedling on the site. It is necessary to shorten the main trunk to 80–90 cm, and remove the existing lateral shoots. Subsequent annual processing is carried out according to the following scheme:

  • In the second year, 4–6 strongest shoots are selected from the side shoots, located approximately at the same distance around the trunk. The rest are cut to the point of growth.
  • In the third year, 3-4 shoots directed upwards are left on these branches, the rest are removed completely. At the same time, the second tier is laid at a distance of 50–60 cm above the first.
  • A year later, 5–6 annual branches are left on the shoots of the second order, which will subsequently bear fruit. The first tier on this is considered fully formed.

The schematically depicted pruning technique will allow the bush not to age and bear fruit abundantly

Features of pruning apricot in different growing regions

The climatic zone of apricot cultivation plays an important role in the selection of specific pruning dates. Spring pruning activities are carried out before the start of sap flow:

  • in the southern regions, in the Kuban, in the Astrakhan and Rostov regions - in early - mid-March.
  • in the central regions - from the third decade of March to mid-April.
  • in the northern regions - from mid to late April.

Autumn pruning is recommended to be carried out until the air temperature drops below +80C. In the south, it is recommended to carry out procedures in the period from October 15 to November 10, in the center - in the first half of October.

Gardeners of the Urals, Siberia and other northern regions prefer not to carry out the procedure in the fall, carrying out sanitary and formative pruning in the spring. This is due to the high probability of freezing of fruit trees.

The apricot pruning technique itself does not have significant regional differences. True, some experts recommend eliminating the pruning of branches on the ring in areas with severe winters, for example, in Siberia. In their opinion, such a manipulation undermines the health of the tree, which is already difficult to survive in difficult Siberian conditions.

Features of pruning a columnar apricot

The graceful columnar apricot also needs pruning. Without this procedure, the plant will lose its decorative appearance, the crown will become spreading and only the direction of fruit growth will remind of its belonging to the columnar.

The columnar apricot is easily recognizable by its shape, which cannot be preserved without annual pruning.

The goals of pruning a tree of this variety are the same as those of pruning ordinary apricots. But special attention is paid to the formation of a tiered crown in the form of a column. To do this, during spring planting, a one-year-old seedling is cut as follows:

  1. The main trunk is shortened to 80–90 cm.
  2. If there are side shoots, then almost all of them are cut into a ring.
  3. Leave 2–3 vertically directed branches, which are cut in half so that the length of the central conductor is 20–25 cm longer.

In the summer, you will need to remove all competitive shoots formed at an acute angle.

Subsequent annual adjustment of the shape will consist in pruning 3-4 main branches, which will then branch out. At the same time, it is recommended to keep the distance between them at 35–40 cm.

In a few years of pruning, the style of wood is created in this way. The further task of the procedure will be to maintain growth processes by shortening part of the branches to 15–20 cm in length. Also, old branches are cut off, on which fruits are no longer tied.

Remember that if you cut a branch more than half, it will give 3-4 strong shoots in the future. And if you remove less than half of the branch, then more shoots will grow, but they will not be so large.

So, pruning a fruit tree is not an easy procedure and requires effort and time. But remember that by performing this preventive procedure, you will not only greatly facilitate the care of the tree in the future, but also get a generous harvest and an aesthetic garden.

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Apricot pruning depending on the age of the trees

At different stages of the life of an apricot, it is pruned in different ways. Spring pruning of apricot in detail is presented below.

How to properly prune an apricot after planting

After planting, pruning and shaping of the first-year apricot is done as follows:

  1. If the seedling does not have side branches, then it is reduced to 80-90 cm.
  2. If there are lateral shoots, when pruning a young apricot, the most powerful are shortened exactly in half. The rest are cut into the ring.
  3. The main conductor is shortened so that it rises 30 cm above the rest of the branches.

Thickening (growing inside the crown) shoots are removed throughout the season.

How to properly prune a 2-year-old apricot

The main purpose of pruning 2 summer apricot seedlings in spring is to form new stem branches. To do this, do the following:

  1. Several branches are selected, located at a distance of 30 cm from each other and from the shoots of the last year. They are trimmed so that the upper ones are shorter than the lower ones.
  2. From the last branch growing to the side to the top of the conductor should be 40 cm.
  3. Some of the shoots of the current year on the skeletal branches are cut off. In fast-growing varieties, half is removed, in others - 1/3.

Shoots of the last year, which have already been pruned, are shortened a little.

How to prune an apricot 3 years after planting

The third year of life is the time of the formation of skeletal branches. During this period, the following pruning is carried out:

  1. The same is repeated as in the second year, while the whip is completely cut off.
  2. The overgrowing branches that come from the trunk, but are not skeletal, are cut off.

How to prune an apricot 4 years after planting

By the fourth year of life, the crown of the apricot should be fully formed. From this age, fruiting begins. For the next three years, only sanitary and health pruning will be required.

How to prune old apricots

Once every 3-4 years, an adult apricot will need anti-aging pruning. On old branches, fruiting completely stops by this time. The procedure is done as follows:

  1. From several skeletal branches, only 20-30 cm are left.
  2. If the fruits are tied only on the extreme distant shoots, all skeletal branches in the spring must be cleaned of overgrowth. By the summer, new fruit shoots will grow on them.

A video about pruning old apricots in spring is shown below.

How to prune a columnar apricot

The columnar apricot needs to be pruned. Otherwise, it will quickly lose its decorative effect. From the moment of planting, all activities will be aimed at forming a tiered straight crown. Pruning a columnar apricot is done like this:

  1. The seedling of the first year is shortened to 0.8–0.9 m from the ground.
  2. Lateral branches are cut off, leaving 3-4 shoots growing along the main trunk. They are cut so that they are 20-25 cm below the guide.
  3. All shoots that form on branches at an acute angle are removed in summer.
  4. In subsequent years, a column is formed, cutting off the main shoots.

After this, the annual shortening of the shoots by 15–20 cm. In addition, a sanitary cut is made, and the branches on which the fruits are not tied are removed.

Crop care after pruning

After the end of the work, all cuts must be processed with garden varnish without fail. You can purchase it from specialized stores or make your own. The easiest way is to take wine alcohol and mix it with fir resin and yellow wax heated over a fire (proportions 1: 10: 1). You can apply this var with a brush. Its viscosity is independent of temperature.

Instead of a garden varnish, you can use a varnish-based oil paint. Sometimes the slices are simply covered with clay. However, care must be taken to ensure that the rain does not wash away the putty before the wounds heal.

Watering, feeding and loosening the trunk circle will help to quickly restore strength after the pruning procedure.

Secrets of the correct pruning of apricots, or 8 useful tips for beginner gardeners.

  1. Do no harm. The first pruning should be done with an experienced assistant or have a good theoretical understanding of the issue.
  2. All is well in due time. Each event must be carried out on time, otherwise the tree may simply die.
  3. Less is better. Pruning too much can take a long time to recover.
  4. Cleanliness is the key to health. The instrument used for the operation must be disinfected with copper sulfate. They are also treated with wood cuts, then the wounds are covered with garden varnish.
  5. If you hurry, you will make people laugh. Take your time when pruning. All cuts and cuts must be done carefully, trying to inflict as little damage to the tree as possible.
  6. Seven times measure cut once. Accurate pruning is the key to a beautiful crown.
  7. Help the weak. Pruning a tree is very stressful. Do not forget to carry out recovery activities after pruning, feed and water the apricot.
  8. As it comes around, it will respond. If the procedures are done correctly and on time, the tree will generously thank you with a good harvest.


Choosing the time for pruning apricot

Most gardeners agree that early spring is the best time to prune an apricot. This agrotechnical procedure must be carried out after the temperature rises, but before the first leaves appear on the tree.

Remember that the tree must be in a state of sleep during pruning. This will guarantee minimal damage to the fruit crop, and subsequently such a trimmed apricot will quickly grow into growth in the spring and begin to build up green mass.

As mentioned above, it is possible to carry out a full pruning of apricot in the fall. This work is done after the harvest and the leaves have completely fallen off. Remember only that you should not delay with such work. Frosts can adversely affect non-healing wounds on the shoot and trunk, which will lead to a weakening of the fruit crop, up to its death.

There is currently no consensus among gardeners whether it is worth pruning in winter. In winter, the trees are in a state of sleep, which theoretically allows this procedure to be carried out. However, a sudden cold snap after such winter rough pruning can lead to the death of trees.

That is why most gardeners do not recommend doing this work in winter. If, for some specific reason, you need to prune an apricot in the winter season, then immediately after completing this work, all sections should be treated with garden varnish. It is forbidden to carry out such pruning at temperatures below 10 degrees.

You can prune the apricot in the summer, which allows you to significantly increase the yield of trees for the next year. It is only necessary to remember that immediately after completing this work, it is necessary to provide the tree with intensive watering for several weeks.

Summer pruning is recommended in early June, every three years. The results of the work carried out remain for three years, after which there is a slight decrease in yield indicators.


Apricot pruning in spring for beginners: diagrams and step-by-step instructions

Apricot belongs to the category of trees that do not regulate fruiting, that is, they retain the entire ovary. As a result, the branches begin to break under the weight of the fruit. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out timely pruning of shoots. But in order to know when and how to do it correctly, it is necessary to study the peculiarities of the growth and fruiting of apricots.

Pros and cons of spring apricot pruning

To carry out pruning of apricot, you need to decide on the period of its implementation. Experts recommend carrying out the procedure in the spring, which will enable the tree to quickly recover and prepare for the upcoming wintering during the season. In addition, there are other pluses of spring apricot pruning:

  • allows you to maintain the correct shape of the tree
  • helps to rejuvenate old branches and strengthen young growth
  • increases productivity
  • improves fruit quality
  • is a prophylaxis against diseases and pests
  • opens access to light to the lower tier of branches
  • helps to strengthen the skeleton of the tree.

The main disadvantage of pruning apricots in spring is that the tree wakes up early after winter and begins to bloom, so you need to have time to carry out the procedure as soon as possible, otherwise it will not bring the desired result.

In autumn, you can also prune apricots, but there is a risk of early frosts, and if the tree does not have time to tighten the wounds in time, they will freeze over, which will significantly weaken the plant's immunity before wintering.

Timing of spring pruning of apricot

The period for pruning apricots in the spring depends on the region of the country, but not before the positive air temperature is established, both during the day and at night. It is impossible to delay too much with the timing, because it is necessary to have time to carry out the procedure before the movement of the juice in the shoots begins.

The optimal time for spring pruning of apricots is considered to be the end of March - beginning of April, which depends on the climatic conditions of each region.

General recommendations and rules for pruning apricots in spring

Regardless of the purpose of the pruning, there are generally accepted rules that must be followed. Ignoring them leads to mistakes that will negatively affect the general condition of the apricot and its fruiting.

Important! To carry out the procedure, it is necessary to prepare the instrument in advance, that is, sharpen it and disinfect it so as not to damage the bark and not introduce infection into the wounds.

  1. When forming the crown, it is necessary to observe the priority, that is, the branches of the lower tier should be stronger and longer, and only then the second and third rows.
  2. The crown of the apricot should begin to form immediately after planting in a permanent place.
  3. When rejuvenating old trees, you should not carry out cardinal pruning in one year, it should be carried out within 3 years, which will help the apricot to cope and recover.
  4. The procedure must be carried out before spring treatment against pests and diseases.
  5. Small shoots up to 4 cm in diameter must be cut under the bud, but carefully so as not to damage it.
  6. Large skeletal branches should be cut at a 45 degree angle.
  • Correct pruning significantly increases the lifespan of the apricot and stimulates regular fruiting.
  • Video: practical tips for spring pruning apricots

Scheme and step-by-step instructions for pruning apricots in spring

Depending on the age of the apricot, pruning methods differ significantly, so it is necessary to study the essence of their implementation in advance. For young seedlings, a shaping procedure is carried out, which helps to form the crown and strengthen the skeleton of the tree, for old trees, a rejuvenating procedure is used in order to enhance vitality and restore the regularity of fruiting.

Regardless of the age of the tree, if necessary, sanitary pruning is carried out, which provides for the removal of broken, damaged and thickening branches.

Important! Experts recommend shaping and rejuvenating pruning of apricot in the spring, and sanitary pruning as needed.

Video: spring pruning apricot

Features of pruning old wood

This method is used in order to restore the crown of the tree at the expense of young fatty shoots, by replacing old skeletal branches with them, which increases the potential of the apricot and improves yield.

Important! The main sign of the need for rejuvenating pruning of apricot is a weak annual growth of branches less than 20 cm.

When carrying out spring pruning of old apricots, certain rules must be observed:

  • all branches over the age of five must be cut at an angle of 45 degrees at a distance of 1 meter from the main conductor
  • remove all branches that grow downward
  • shorten drooping shoots to the first branch of the upward
  • cut out all branches that grow in the middle of the crown
  • leave one strong shoot on each skeletal branch, and remove the rest.

Important! Rejuvenation of the apricot should be carried out for 2-3 years.

Video: correct pruning of old apricots in spring

Formation of a young apricot (1,2,3,4, 6-7 years)

It is necessary to start forming an apricot immediately after planting, so that in the end you get a strong tree that brings a stable harvest. Basically, experienced gardeners prefer the discharged-tiered method of crown formation, which means the output of 5-7 main branches of the crown.

In the first year (s) after planting a seedling in the absence of branches on it, it is necessary to shorten the main stem at a height of 90 cm above the soil level.

If there are already lateral shoots, two of them should be selected, which are located opposite to each other, and the rest should be cut into a ring, that is, without leaving hemp.

The selected shoots must be cut in half, and the main headquarters at a height of 20 cm above them.

In the second year (b) several more skeletal branches should be distinguished, which should not be closer than 35 cm to last year's shoots, but at the same time should be located evenly on the trunk in relation to each other.

The branches of the lower tier should be cut, taking into account the peculiarity of the apricot variety: vigorous - by half, weak - by a third of the entire length. The second row should be shortened so that they are 10 cm less than the shoots of the lower row.

The main stem must be cut at a height of 40 cm above the upper side branches.

In the third year (c) the laying of the third tier of the main branches should be carried out according to the principle of the previous year. In this case, it is necessary to observe the priority of the rows, that is, the lower branches should be the strongest and longest, and the length of the branches of the subsequent rows is 10-15 cm shorter than the previous row. It is recommended to cut the main conductor just above the third tier.

From the fourth year (in) the apricot begins to bear fruit, therefore, a decrease in shoots can negatively affect the formation of fruits, therefore, the pruning procedure within 3-4 years is reduced solely to cleaning the crown from damaged, broken and thickening branches.

The next stage of pruning apricot should be carried out for 6-7 years (d), helping to increase the number of fruits.

To do this, on each main branch, it is necessary to leave 2-3 shoots at the end, while shortening their length by 1/3. A replacement knot should be created between them, cutting off a strong shoot at a height of 10-15 cm from the base.

In addition, the crown is sanitized from branches thickening the crown and blocking the access of light to the lower tier of branches.

Video: pruning a young apricot on a bush in the spring and forming a plant crown

Necessary care after pruning

After the procedure, it is necessary to treat all wounds to avoid infection. For this it is recommended to use garden putty, which will prevent the juice flowing out.

  1. In order for the seedling to recover faster and grow, you need to monitor soil moisture, preventing the roots from drying out.
  2. Barrel circle it is necessary to regularly remove weeds and loosen the soil to provide air access to the root system.
  3. When the appearance the first signs of disease or pests spray with fungicides and insecticides, which will help protect the apricot.

Possible errors during the pruning procedure

Sometimes even experienced gardeners make mistakes, which negatively affects the further growth and development of the apricot. And instead of the expected result, all efforts will be wasted. To avoid this, you should first study possible errors, which will help prevent them in the future.

  1. Do not use a blunt tool that will eventually damage the bark and leave burrs that cause rotting. Tools must be carefully prepared and sharpened.
  2. Do not ignore the timing of the procedure, as this affects the immunity of the tree and leads to its long-term recovery.
  3. It is necessary to cut off skeletal branches in a ring, otherwise the close location of the cut to the main trunk will lead to the formation of a hollow, which will cause the death of the entire tree.
  4. The priority of the tiers cannot be ignored, as this will significantly reduce the yield of the apricot.
  5. Overestimation of the height of the first row of branches leads to the fact that the fruits will form at a height of 2 meters, which will significantly complicate the harvest.

Apricot is characterized by rapid growth of shoots, as a result of which the crown overgrows, which significantly reduces its yield. To extend the life of the tree and improve its functionality, timely pruning should be carried out, and then the quality and quantity of fruits will exceed all expectations.


For a blooming and fruitful garden - when to prune fruit trees?

To have a good harvest, it is not enough just to plant a fruit tree. It is necessary to constantly keep it in shape. To do this, the branches are cut, giving them the right direction and removing unnecessary and sick ones. In this material, we will consider the question facing the gardener - pruning fruit trees: pruning timing.

What factors affect pruning time

The timing of pruning a fruit tree is determined by three factors:

  1. breed
  2. condition
  3. the purpose of trimming.

For example, the apple tree is distinguished by its endurance, so in the spring it is cut first, and in the fall - the last. After the apple trees, in the spring they take up other pome crops and only then - for stone fruit crops. In the fall, respectively, they start with stone fruits.

The timing of pruning cherry and sweet cherry depends on the state of the tree:

  • developed, strong: pruned after harvest
  • weak: cut in winter - then young shoots grow more actively in spring.

The optimal pruning time for plums is mid to late June. These trees can also be pruned at harvest time.

The weakness and underdevelopment of the tree may indicate a poor state of the root system. Then they refuse to trim at all - the sheet apparatus is necessary for the speedy restoration of the underground part. This is facilitated by loosening and fertilizing the soil, watering and adding earth to the trunk circle, where the soil gradually settles.

Timing of tree pruning

Most types of pruning occur at the beginning and end of the season, when the tree is at rest, this choice is explained by the following reasons:

  • the plant experiences the least stress
  • does not lose useful juices (during the rest period, sap flow is absent)
  • due to the absence of leaves, the crown is clearly visible.

Both of these periods are worth considering in detail.

In autumn

Falling leaves testify to the beginning of the dormant period in autumn. After that, pruning is carried out, however, you need to be in time before frost. At low temperatures, the cut site can be frostbite, and rotting is also possible.

It is generally forbidden to prune directly in frost below 5 degrees.

Wood at this temperature becomes brittle and therefore the cut is uneven, the tree is more injured. This is aggravated by the already mentioned phenomena - frostbite and rotting. It is also advisable to do everything before the rains, that is, sometime before the end of October.

Otherwise, the gardener will have to walk around the tree on soggy ground during pruning, which is, firstly, difficult, and secondly, leads to compaction of the soil with a subsequent loss of air permeability. If, nevertheless, it was necessary to engage in pruning in a rainy season, boards are laid on the soil to distribute the load.

In autumn, sanitary pruning is mainly performed: diseased, rotten and dried branches are removed, thus making it easier for the tree to winter.

In the spring

When you leave the state of dormancy, in the spring, the movement of juices begins in the tree, marked by the appearance of buds. Accordingly, pruning is mainly carried out up to this point, but after the frosts subside.

Almost all types of pruning occur in the spring:

  • post-landing
  • formative
  • supporting
  • anti-aging.

A plant planted in autumn, regardless of the type (pome / stone), is corrected in order to balance the aboveground and underground parts.

In size, they should correspond to each other, since they provide a mutual supply of vital substances. When transplanting, the roots are inevitably damaged, therefore, the aerial part needs to be reduced.

A seedling without branching is simply shortened to a height of 80-100 cm. In a branched one, excess shoots are removed, leaving the most suitable for organizing the first tier of skeletal branches: growing at a height of 50 - 70 cm and forming an angle of 40-600 with the central conductor.

By means of formative pruning, the crown is given a shape that ensures good yields and a balance between vegetation and fruiting, here are its signs:

  • the plant is compact and all its parts are accessible for care and harvest
  • the inner part of the crown is sparse and therefore receives enough sunlight
  • there are many overgrowing branches
  • the branches are strong and can support the weight of the crop.

There are several types of crowns. One of the most popular is the sparse tiered.

There are 2 - 3 tiers of skeletal branches and several single ones. For the role of skeletal shoots, 2 - 3 shoots are left per layer, growing at an angle of 40 - 60 degrees with respect to the central conductor.

This is explained as follows:

  • such branches bear fruit well, while those growing at an acute angle tend to go into growth
  • they are able to support the weight of the crop (those growing at an acute angle break).

A compact cup-shaped crown is given by cutting the trunk and forming the correct direction of growth of the branches. To do this, choose a bud, directed in the right direction, and cut the branch above it.

Crown formation technique

There are two pruning methods:

  1. to the outer bud (directed from the trunk): aims to make the crown more spreading and well-lit from the inside
  2. to the inner (growing towards the trunk): done to strengthen the inner part and correct branches that are too directed downward.

It is advisable to avoid pruning, if possible, by changing the direction of growth of the branches by pulling them off with stretch marks or a load. The smaller the pruning volume, the earlier the tree will begin to bear fruit.

Maintain the formed crown in good condition by removing branches:

  • central conductor and skeletal branch competitors
  • growing at an acute angle in relation to the trunk
  • thickening the crown
  • crisscrossing
  • misguided
  • spinning tops: vertical shoots on old branches that take away the strength of the tree and do not bear fruit.

The growth of the tree in height is limited by cutting the top of the trunk. Rejuvenating pruning is good for a mature tree. The annual growth of his branches is gradually decreasing, and the quality of the crop decreases. Branches that do not bear fruit and grow less than 20 cm in length in a year are cut “into a ring”, thus stimulating the formation of new shoots.

You cannot delete all old branches at once - the tree will not transfer this. Cut off annually, one or two. A "ring" is a formation around the base of a branch, consisting of rapidly multiplying cells. The "ring cut" heals very quickly.

In some cases, pruning is performed after the start of sap flow, removing:

  1. frostbitten branches... In early spring, when the tree is still bare, it is difficult to clearly localize areas of frostbite. In late spring - early summer, against the background of revived and leafy branches, they become clearly distinguishable. The tips of branches near apple and pear trees are especially prone to frostbite.
  2. shading tops... If at the stage of formation the trimming was carried out correctly, then the inner parts of the crown will be well lit. But if overlooked, the gardener may find at the beginning of summer that the upper branches covered with leaves strongly prevent light from entering. In this case, they are removed.
  3. diseased branches... When affected by certain diseases, for example, powdery mildew, the diseased parts are immediately removed, regardless of the season. This usually happens in the summer. Pruning prevents the spread of the disease throughout the tree. The cut branches are burned.

Prune your tree in spring or fall?

Spring pruning is preferable because the tree will soon wake up and the wounds will heal faster. That is why they try to carry out only sanitary pruning in the fall.

Some trees, such as pear, cherry, plum, can become sick after pruning in the fall or even die. Also, young seedlings do not tolerate it well.

Branches broken off by a storm, snow or icing are removed immediately, regardless of the season. The only reason the operation can be postponed is that the temperature outside is below -50C.

In the southern regions, where there is almost no severe frost, pruning can be done in winter. Thanks to this, in large industrial gardens it is possible to process all the trees before the sap flow begins.

The calendar

The pruning schedule is recommended to be consistent with the lunar and stellar cycles. So, it is known that the intensity of sap flow increases with the waning moon, and when the Earth passes through the zodiac signs of fish, Aquarius and cancer, it decreases.

In the fall of 2018, the following days are considered favorable for tree pruning:

  • in September: 1, 6, 7, 15, 16, 26, 27, 28
  • in October: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 13, 25, 29, 30, 31
  • in November: 4, 5, 9, 10, 25, 26, 27, 28.

The periods of the change of the lunar cycle, that is, the new moon and the full moon, are considered unfavorable for pruning. The same applies to the period of the rising moon: at this time, the places of the cuts have increased sensitivity.

In the fall of 2018, it is undesirable to engage in pruning on such days:

  • in September: 2, 9, 25
  • in October: 1, 9, 24
  • in November: 1, 7, 23.

Table: fruit tree pruning calendar:

Month What to trim
Southern regions Middle lane Northern latitudes
January Pears and apple trees
February Apple trees and pears (if the air temperature
-50C and above)
March At the beginning of the month - old trees All fruit trees (beginning of the procedure)
April Cherries, apricots, cherries and other stone fruits Spring pruning begins
May Completion of spring pruning
June Pinching the tops of the shoots (green pruning)
July Completion of green cropping
August Sanitary pruning (as needed)
September Inspection of branches after harvesting the first harvest and removal of diseased and broken ones
October After complete harvesting, sanitary pruning with preparation of trees for wintering
November Sanitary pruning, preparation for winter

It is important not to forget to process large sections (more than 2.5 cm in diameter) with oil paint or garden varnish, and even the smallest in young apricots and peaches. The healing rate of a treated wound (a bark cushion grows from the edge) is 2 - 3 cm / year, while without treatment this figure is only 1 cm / year.

December for the gardener is a month of rest.

Related Videos

About pruning fruit trees at different times of the year, their goals, sequence and conditions in the video:

It is possible to start pruning only with a full understanding of the processes occurring in the plant and the laws of its development, otherwise the intervention is likely to be harmful. It is necessary to carefully study the rules for pruning this crop or invite a knowledgeable person - then the tree will bring abundant and tasty harvests for a long time.


Watch the video: Apricot Tree Pruning with Erik Wilson