How to prune an apple tree

In a good orchard, there are always apple trees. And in order to get beautiful large and tasty apples, you need to grow them correctly: fertilize the soil, clean it from weeds, dig in and regularly water the plant, cut it in a timely manner.

Let's talk about the intricacies and some of the nuances of correctly performing apple pruning and the formation of a beautiful healthy tree.

Table of contents

  • When is it necessary to prune an apple tree and what is it for?
    • The advantages of pruning in the spring
    • The advantages of pruning in the fall
  • How to prune an apple tree by yourself?
    • Apple tree pruning scheme
    • Pruning an old apple tree
    • pruning technique How to prune a column-shaped apple tree?
      • The first version of
      • The second version of
    • How to prune a dwarf apple tree?

When is it necessary to prune an apple tree and what is it for?

Apple is considered one of the most resistant among garden crops. Pruning is carried out from the beginning of the warm season, the end of February to May, in the period of relative rest of the tree, when there is no threat of severe frost

.Of course, you need to take into account the local climatic conditions of the region. Pruning is possible up to the flowering period, the main thing is to carry it out, observing strictly all requirements.

Pruning apple trees

Pruning apple trees is carried out:

  • In the spring before the budding to improve the condition of the tree and its fertility;
  • During the summer of , anti-aging “pruning without a knife” is used: pinching of shoots and breaking, bending, etc.;
  • In the fall, after falling foliage.
Be sure to take into account the individual characteristics of the development of individual varieties.

What tasks does tree trimming do?

  • For a young tree ( 5-7 years), the formation of its crown and rationing of the future harvest is carried out;
  • For an adult , conditions for good crown illumination and sufficient nutrition for potentially productive high-quality plots are created;
  • Sanitary pruning for cleansing from damaged and diseased branches is carried out at any age.

Benefits of pruning in the spring

Which period is most appropriate for pruning is determined by the overriding immediate utility to the plant.

In spring, trees are easier to tolerate various operations, which will be facilitated by the sap flow of the apple tree .And the gardener has enough time to perform the whole procedure with high quality and neat.

In the autumn, pruning of the branches provokes the beginning of growth, and this falls on the period when the tree is about to fall asleep. Such actions can significantly weaken it. During the fall of the leaves( except for the southern warm regions) there is a high probability of a sharp decrease in temperature. If pruning is done on the eve of frost, it can lead to wounds in the places of processing wood.

The removal of unwanted branches from young apple trees begins before the buds swell. From spring to early summer, you can work out a columnar apple tree .

After wintering, it is imperative to pay attention to the removal of frostbitten, dry, broken branches, both on young and adult apples, forming a good and healthy crown.

The advantages of pruning in the fall

Many have doubts about the autumn correction of trees. So, of course the apple trees are pruned in the fall. And this is advisable only with a solid approach and knowledge of the matter.

When performing this procedure in the fall, you must take into account the weather conditions .Do it on warm sunny days, then the tree will take it better.

In the fall, pruning of the branches provokes the onset of growth.

Do not prune when it rains, it is cold and overcast .This creates prerequisites for diseases of the trunks and branches due to the multitude of all kinds of microbes located on them.

On adult and old trees, they cut off the still, weak, too heavy side branches, thinning the crown. The shoots, crouched to the ground, are left, the young branches that are too stretched up are cut as far as possible.

The following types of apple pruning are used:

  • Sanitary .Mostly on old trees, dried and damaged branches with signs of disease are removed;
  • Formative .Produced in young trees to create a well-groomed crown( with an interval of 4-5 years);
  • Structural .Removed branches that touch others, intersect with them, interfere, grow incorrectly or impede the growth of neighboring trees;
  • Rejuvenating .It is carried out for old, poorly productive trees, it is carried out once in 4 years.
It is necessary to know how to correct the apple tree or, as they say, “what and how much is necessary to prune”.Depending on your individual goals and objectives, and, importantly, what you want, you choose what pruning to do. Weak, medium or strong.

How to prune an apple tree correctly?

This question is asked both by experts and beginners. And newbies are also afraid to start doing this on their own. But no need to be afraid. After reviewing the basic rules, having talked with familiar gardeners, it is better, if possible, to still see how they do it on their site. Pruning on your first tree under the supervision of an experienced expert will give you confidence. Then capture the excitement and interest. And you will independently trim and share your experience.

A begins with the basic bases and methods of pruning the crown of an apple tree:

  • A strong-grown apple tree leaves 75 cm of trunk( main stem);
  • In low growth - 55 cm. Above the trunk leaves 6-7 buds, and the apex.
Be sure to consider the features of trimming a separate grade!

Apple tree pruning scheme

Pruning a young apple tree with the peculiarities of the development of its branches

a - the main shoot has strong growth, and the lateral branches have grown weakly;b - at lateral branches strong growth and weak at the main shoot;in - if necessary, replace the main shoots side;d - if necessary, shorten the competitor branch

There are several known forms of apple crown, which are the most common:

  • Sparse-tier form .On a sapling, all branches except 4-6 skeletal ones are cut, between which there should be at least 30-40 cm.
  • Medium shtambovaya form .At the initial stage of development of the seedling, it is necessary to cut off all the branches that are at a height below 1 m from the ground surface. Everything that remains higher grows independently.

Pruning an old apple tree

In those cases when it is necessary to restore and renew old apple trees, all work is carried out only with a healthy tree, which has strong basic skeletal branches. This is done in stages, over several years. In the spring, when the shape of the tree is clearly visible, it is especially convenient to visually correct the actions of .Moreover, at this time the whole procedure is accepted favorably by the tree.

Pruning an old apple tree is done only with a healthy tree.

For diseased trees. Here, make your own choice: first cure, then pruned, or replace them with new trees.

The first year of the cuts off the largest excess branches: diseased, intertwined, those that interfere with and make unnecessary deformations with bare bark.

The second or third year of the reveals the center of the crown itself, removing the top of the main trunk at a height of 2.5 m. Cut off the tops from the previous trimming, leaving a few, growing up, from which new shoots are formed.

Technique pruning

The tools that you use when pruning trees( pruners, delimbers, garden knives, saws, etc.) should be clean and well sharpened. If you cut sore branches, before switching to healthy ones, you need to disinfect the tool.

  1. branches removed as close to the trunk , leaving no stumps of cut-off, even at the very young.
  2. Large branches first shorten , and then cut off completely. If using a saw, first make an incision from the bottom to avoid injury to the bark at the base. After that, the branch is cut from the top.
  3. The cut-off areas should be treated with garden varnish or oil paint for the 2nd day. Do not use enamel and nitro paints.

Try to locate all main branches evenly around the center conductor, which must be left 25 cm higher than the other branches.

If you overdo it and severely shorten the shoots, this may cause unnecessary branches to appear. And the mandatory rule is to prune the apple trees annually!

How to prune a column-like apple tree?

Column-shaped apple tree

Column-shaped apple trees do not have crowns and are compactly located on the site .Their pruning raises the most questions because of its features. The prevailing opinion is that the most suitable time for this is spring or early summer. I suggest you opt for one of the following options.

The first version of

  • In the 2nd year of the pinch the tops of the young branches, which have a length of more than 30 cm. Do not cut the uppermost shoot.
  • In the 3rd year of the , the lateral branches are shortened to 40 cm, and the upper shoot is pinched 25 cm from the central bole.
  • In the 4th year of , remove all the branches that grow incorrectly, intertwined and weak.
In the future, try to keep your tree no higher than 3 m and cut unnecessary bends.

And what about the crown escape, which is especially susceptible to freezing in the winter? It is necessary to choose the strongest spring. Choose the strongest from the top young branches, and cut the rest into two buds.

The second version of

You have a small area, and you want to form a beautiful and strict column of trees in a small area?

So is necessary to annually cut all side shoots into two buds. Let them grow freely by removing dry, damaged and intertwining branches.

How to prune a dwarf apple tree?

When starting pruning such apple trees, remember that your task is to allow it to grow in breadth, not up.

Dwarf apple trees

In the first year of their life, seedlings grow very quickly .But after the fruiting period comes, the growth diminishes. Further growth is strongly cut during fruiting, which is good for the size of the fruit.

  • In the spring, an annual tree is cut at a level of 50 cm from the soil of and covered with a slice with garden pitch.
  • For the next spring, , shorten the lateral branches to the second bud of the , and shorten the central shoot by a quarter.
  • The following year, , we completely remove the branches that grow down and deeper into the crown of the , and the main shoot and side branches are 20 cm. You should strive to form a rounded small crown.

As a rule, the formation of the crown of dwarf apple trees is carried out for the first 2–3 years. But it all depends on how your apple tree develops.

For dwarf apple trees that bear fruit, sanitary pruning is required in the spring and autumn.

Learn the basic rules and techniques. And yet, remember that tree pruning is a creative and very interesting .I have had a gardener's experience for more than twenty years, my neighbor has even more, but when I finish pruning my trees, a neighbor always has comments and suggestions. Such creativity.

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