Spring pruning of trees in detail. How and when it should be done

We suggest that you familiarize yourself with how to properly prune trees so that they bear fruit well next year.

Types of pruning

  • Formative. It is aimed at giving the crown a certain shape, which allows for good illumination of all branches and limits the growth of the tree.
  • Rejuvenating. This pruning makes it possible to rejuvenate an old or fairly mature tree by getting new branches and thereby increasing their yield.
  • Sanitary In the course of such pruning, diseased and damaged branches, as well as dry stumps and other shoots are removed. In addition, sanitary pruning is aimed at removing old and broken branches that can pose a danger to humans.
  • Supporting (regulating). It is done annually to maintain the necessary shape of the crown and clean up the thickening. This is a small and simple job, which is carried out every season on an already correctly formed tree.

Methods of pruning

  1. Thinning (ring cut). It is used to eliminate thickening and make the crown more ventilated. At the same time, the shoots are removed completely, which is called a ring cut. In the process of such an operation, the branch is removed along the line of the ring roller located at the place of its attachment.
  2. Shortening. It is used to awaken the buds under the cut.

Shortening is used:

  • on young trees to form regular and strong branches, which then become skeletal;
  • on mature trees for rejuvenation (activation of the growth of new shoots);to limit the growth of the tree in height and stimulate the growth of lateral shoots, as well as the appearance of flower buds and better nutrition of ripening fruits;
  • to change the direction of growth of the branch, if it grows inward, towards the trunk.

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General rules for spring pruning of trees

In certain cases, spring pruning is considered the main one, since after it there are no more frosts that can damage the branches in the places of cuts.

  • The basic rule, which is considered an axiom among gardeners, is that pruning should be done at the beginning of sap flow. When the trees have not yet come out of the dormant period and the main substances are concentrated in the roots and at the base of the tree trunk. But some experts claim that spring pruning can be done at the beginning of the movement of sap, as this will help the wounds to heal as quickly as possible.
  • Pruning is advisable every year. This allows you to remove excess branches in time, maintaining the desired shape of the crown. If trees are not pruned in time, thicker branches will have to be cut later, resulting in wounds that heal more slowly and poorly.
  • When pruning, it is important to use only clean and sharp tools, and all saws should be additionally cleaned with a garden knife.
  • When thinning the crown, first remove diseased and dry branches, and then those that grow incorrectly.
  • Branches should be cut at their base so that there is a small tip, which does not form a hollow due to poor healing.
  • When pruning, you cannot leave “forks” – two shoots coming out of the same place. Otherwise, in the future, it may lead to the branch breaking under the weight of the fruits.
  • Branches of lower orders should be more developed. If a branch of a higher order is as developed as the one from which it departs, its growth must be inhibited. To do this, it is necessary to shorten such a branch.
  • So that dry stumps do not appear on the trees, during rejuvenating pruning, you need to cut the branches in such a way that side shoots grow near the place of the cut.
  • One-year shoots are cut in such a way that the top is the outer bud. A shoot will grow from it, which will be directed from the trunk or skeletal branch. However, if the crown of the tree is drooping, then pruning is done near the inner bud.
  • If the annual growth of the branches is weak, a stronger pruning should be carried out, which stimulates the intensity of the growth of shoots.

Tree pruning stages

  1. Young trees first form a skeleton. When planting in spring, pruning can be done immediately, and in autumn – wait until spring. The lower branches are left longer than the upper ones. It takes about 4 to 6 years for the crown of a tree to form.
  2. If the crown is already formed, then pruning should be started as follows: each skeletal shoot should be considered as a separate tree. In the next five years, it is pruned in order to form shoots of the next order and to stimulate the appearance of flower buds.
  3. Spring pruning involves removing or shortening a branch near a bud that will produce a new shoot in the desired direction.
  4. Shoots of the second order are left longer than those of the third. There should be several buds on them.
  5. Closely growing, intertwining branches are removed completely.