Pruning apple trees in spring, when and how - recommendations, tips

One of the main rules - pruning an apple tree in the spring should be based on its age and characteristics. Competent pruning not only gives the tree a neat appearance, but also affects the yield, taste characteristics of the fruit, the time of their ripening. It is necessary to carry out this process until the first buds bloom on the tree. Such an important agrotechnical event as the formation of a crown is best done with the arrival of spring - this applies to all fruit trees. On the peculiarities of spring pruning apple will be discussed in this article.

Contents:
  • Spring pruning of an apple tree - tasks
  • Terms of pruning an apple tree
  • How to do pruning an apple tree?
  • Pruning a young apple tree
  • Proper pruning of a fruiting apple tree
  • How to prune an old apple tree
  • Pruning an

Choosing a cutting tool is important. For a competent pruning of an apple we may need the following tools - a pruner, a hacksaw, a pruning shear or a garden knife. They must be very sharp and free from rust. For older branches, you will need a saw, which is also well sharpened and, naturally, clean( without dirt and rust).

Pruning apple trees in spring, tools, photo:

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Spring pruning of apple trees - tasks

What is the correct formation of the crown? Old, sick, frozen branches should be removed. Cut extra branches, which create a thickness that interferes with the penetration of sunlight. Here it is important to properly “distribute” the consumption of moisture by the tree and other useful components, so that all the powers of the apple tree are directed towards the branches with fruits. Failure to comply with these conditions is fraught with a decrease in the quality and quantity of apples, they shrink in size, the ripening time is delayed. In addition, too long branches can break under the weight of the fruit, and it will not be easy to get to them.

Spring pruning of apple trees is also important for very young representatives, because the strongly expanding branches can shift the center of gravity of the tree, the trunk will start to bend. Also, the spring crown shaping helps to correct the pruning errors made in the fall. Removing growing inward branches, as well as unhealthy, strengthens the immune system of the apple, reduces the risk of damage by pests and diseases. Young shoots, tops, the so-called "competitive" branches are also removed.

Cutting an apple tree - important points:

  • In any kind of cutting, the trunk is never affected.
  • Young shoots should be shortened to a maximum of one third of the length.
  • The central branch( growing from the center) should be approximately 30-40 cm higher than the lateral branches, no more.
  • In order to achieve the right balance, it is desirable that all branches of the same level be of the same length.
  • Forming pruning of apple trees in the spring is based on the location of the bud. Removal of internal branches should be made at the level of the location of the external kidney. If the central conductor needs thickening, then it is necessary to direct the growth of the branches deep into the crown. To do this, pruning is done at the level of the kidney, which is directed inside the crown.
  • Ensure that the cut is clean and even. There should not be "chewed" edges and bevels. To do this, use a sharply sharpened tool, as already mentioned above. Do not be lazy and treat its cutting parts with a disinfectant.
  • After trimming over the kidney( above it), there should be no stump or knot, it should be cut about 3 mm above it.
  • All wound sites must be treated with garden pitch or oil paint( as a last resort).In the spring, as we know, sap flow is activated, so all damages should be “healed”.

To remove the branches, a secateur, a lopper and a saw were mentioned above, I would recommend novice gardeners to resort to the help of a delimber. Firstly, sawing involves moving the cutting blade forward and backward - this can be dangerous if the process occurs at a height, while also standing on a stepladder. Secondly, with sharp teeth on the canvas you can damage the branches growing nearby, therefore a sharp lopper will be more convenient, plus with the help of its long handles you will be able to reach the most distant branches. In addition, the cutting elements of the delimber provide a perfect cut.

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Duration of apple pruning

Here you should focus on the climatic features of your region. No specialist will be able to name a specific date, so you will determine the time of pruning yourself, with an eye on weather conditions. The main thing is to carry out the procedure for a month or three weeks before the start of sap flow. Do not try to do everything quickly and before the specified time reference, because after winter the wood becomes especially fragile. Cutting the apple tree too early in the spring will only hurt her. Try to "catch" the desired period of time between the awakening of the tree from hibernation and the beginning of the formation of buds, as sometimes it passes very quickly.

The scheme of pruning an apple is also determined individually, taking into account the age and size of the tree, the volume of the proposed work, the location of the apple on the site( trees growing nearby).There are several typical pruning schemes, but there are no strict requirements and standards. They are only the basis of the concept of this process, and then the gardener decides everything independently and according to the situation. The most common forms of crown, which are attached by trimming, are: rounded, pyramidal, flat horizontal or flat vertical, columnar, figured.

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How to do pruning apple trees?

Let's take a look at how a young tree, an adult, fertile and old, is pruned.

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Pruning a young apple tree

The very first pruning of young representatives is done immediately after the seedling has been planted in the ground. This process is aimed at the correct distribution of vital forces between the roots and the trunk with branches. A young tree must firmly take root in the new place of residence. The central conductor is shortened so that in the cropped form its length is approximately 80-85 cm. If the young tree has side branches, it is necessary to divide their length into three parts, then remove two parts( 2/3 of the length).The next spring, pruning of an apple tree is done again: 3( or 5) of the most powerful branches growing from the trunk are left on the tree. At the same time, the upper branches are pruned slightly, so that they are shorter than the lower ones. The central shoot should be about 25-30 cm above the upper branches, so it is cut to the required length.

If the central shoot at the end forks, then you need to choose and leave one part that is longer, and cut the second one completely.

Those branches that grew at an acute angle( relative to the stem) are also to be removed - they are useless, as they still cannot cope with the weight of the fruit and break at the crucial moment. And, of course, all frozen, dry and diseased shoots are also cut, as well as young shoots near the trunk.

Do not forget about the correct circumcision( 3-4 mm above the kidney)!Also, if you notice a darkening of the bark on some separate branches( usually on them and the kidneys do not swell), without hesitation, remove them.

Literate pruning of young apple trees in the spring is very important, especially in the first years of her life in a new place. Thanks to this operation, the “foundation” of the future tree is laid, its crown is formed. If during this period the development of the tree is set in the wrong direction, then in the future it will be extremely difficult to correct something.

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Correct pruning of a fruiting apple tree

In the third or fourth year after the planting of the seedling, the crown is formed in the apple trees, but now the pruning should be done very carefully, as the tree is already producing fruits. At this stage, the branches are pruned quite a bit so that this traumatic procedure does not affect fructification. Proper pruning of an apple tree is when shoots are removed that grow inside the crown and overlap with fruitful branches. The unspoken rule: it is better to cut a couple of large thickening branches than to remove a few small ones. Remember that the barrel should not split apart!

Growing up too long branches also need to be shortened, you should know that the length of 3.5 m is considered the maximum allowable for almost all varieties of fruit trees. Also, do not forget about thinning the crown, excessive shading us to anything. To make it easier to control the situation, first remove the thickest branches - this will make the overall picture more understandable. It is better to leave horizontal branches, as well as the strongest branches, on which you will plant a different grade( if you, of course, plan this in the future).

Pruning apple fruit, photo:

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How to properly prune an old apple tree

Despite the fact that old apple trees are rarely pruned, the thickening of their crowns should also be monitored. Forming pruning crown in old trees is made every two years, while removing the branches and shoots that hide the sun's rays from the fruitful branches. Dried and broken fragments, of course, are also subject to cutting. If your apple tree for many years pleased you with a generous harvest, but in recent years its volumes have become shallow, it means you need to conduct an audit and remove unpromising branches. Rejuvenating pruning of the apple tree - so called this process.

A radical cutting of the third part of the shoots and branches of the total number of all branches is carried out. In this case, the main thing - do not get carried away and do not overdo it, it is one third of the branches of the total mass to be removed. You need to be prepared for the fact that from this tree you will not have to rely on a bountiful harvest this year. A similar pruning of apple trees is carried out over the next 2 years, each spring - this technique will launch the renewing processes of the vital resources of the tree, it will be better bearing fruit and delight you, as before.

Old apple tree, pruning, photo:

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Pruning an apple tree

In this case, there is a task - the crown of the tree should look like a column, so the gardener's attention should be directed to removing the side branches. In addition, as a matter of course, should be cut out all unnecessary, thickening crown shoots. When pruning an apple tree is done, the trunk is not touched under any circumstances. If it suddenly happened that the apple tree stopped growing, the trunk was only slightly shortened. In trees of this type, the apical bud should be intact. At first, when the columnar apple is still very young, the central shoot is strengthened with the help of supports. This is done so that it does not break from gusts of wind or other circumstances.

With the arrival of spring, while the buds have not yet begun to swell, the lateral branches of the apple tree are pruned into two buds - powerful shoots will grow from them. The following year, in spring, the vertically growing branches are again shortened by two buds( to enhance the growth of new shoots), but the horizontal ones do not touch, as they will bear fruit. And only the next year, when spring pruning, these horizontal fruitful branches are cut off to the ring. Note - cutting “on the ring” implies an even clean saw cut without disturbing the integrity of the surrounding bark, with the cutting itself there is no stumps and knots left. The subsequent smearing of the wound site with garden pitch is necessary.

At a time when all nature awakens from its winter sleep, fruit trees best tolerate such “operations”.Pruning apple trees in spring is an important part of care, aimed at renewing the vitality and appearance of the tree, increasing the volume of the future harvest.

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