Pruning fruit trees is one of the most important aspects of gardening in the fall. Thanks to the correct pruning, the trees form a harmonious healthy crown, which contributes to an increase in yield.
Types of trimming
Depending on the purpose, there are three main types of trimming.
Performed when it is necessary to remove rotten, broken or diseased branches. The aim of this activity is to keep the garden healthy. Sanitary pruning of the crown can be performed at any time of the year, very often such a need arises after a strong gale wind, downpours, when healthy branches break. The faster the broken branches are removed, the less the risk of foci of fungal diseases. When carrying out sanitary pruning, dry, skeletonized, broken or broken branches are removed. At the same time, diseased shoots are cut out, as well as fattening branches growing deeper into the crown.
It is carried out to give trees and shrubs a certain shape. Correctly formed trees enter the fruiting phase faster, get sick less, and regularly bring a rich harvest. Formative pruning of young trees helps to produce a strong, healthy tree, and correct branch removal from the crown promotes better air exchange and allows light to flow to each inner branch. In the garden, formative pruning is performed not only on fruit trees and shrubs, many ornamental crops are also formed by pruning. Garden topiary is created exclusively by the power of imagination and competent pruning. Occasionally, repeated frequent pruning may be required to achieve a specific plant shape. Some crops can be pruned 2-3 times a year, slow-growing species are shortened once every 2-3 years.
It will help revive old neglected trees. If fruiting became unstable, the fruits were crushed, and pests settled on the tree, it’s time to carry out anti-aging pruning. Apple and pear trees can be rejuvenated once every 5-6 years, the rest of garden crops no more than 3-4 years. With this pruning, young productive branches are left, and old shoots are drastically removed.
It is not difficult to restore youth and beauty to garden plants with a hacksaw, you just need to follow some rules for pruning trees.
Pruning of garden trees is carried out in spring, autumn and summer, in winter such work is started as a last resort. Sometimes too much weight of the snow cap leads to the breaking off of branches and twigs, in which case, sanitary pruning of the damaged part of the crown must be performed immediately.
The main pruning of trees is carried out in the spring, when the threat of frost has passed. Active sap flow helps to quickly heal wounds, the plant is actively building up a new mass.
In the summer, you can carry out the formation of crowns and the removal of broken diseased branches.
In autumn, the garden is sanitary pruning and berry bushes are formed. Let’s talk more about autumn pruning.
Autumn: getting down to pruning the garden
It is important to finish the autumn pruning of garden trees before the onset of frost. If frosts come early, it is better to postpone work until spring. In the southern regions, autumn crown pruning can be carried out during October-November.
Most often, in the autumn months, sanitary pruning of trees is carried out, removing those branches that have broken under the weight of ripe fruits. But sometimes it is advisable to carry out the formation of trees in the first year of cultivation. Branches in the crowns that have chaotically grown over the summer can interfere with the ventilation and lighting of the tree, so it is easy to remove several shoots in the fall. In addition, multistage formative pruning of ornamental crops can be attributed to autumn. Rejuvenating garden pruning is also more convenient to carry out in the fall.
Berry: what crops can be cut in the fall
In autumn, raspberries, blackberries, currants are pruned in the garden.
- Raspberry shoots, 2 years old, are cut radically, without leaving hemp. The cut is performed at soil level. In remontant varieties, you can cut out all the shoots, or leave three to four one-year replacement sleeves. Annual shoots in a raspberry tree are shortened by 15-20 cm. Broken branches and weak shoots are removed.
- Currants are cut selectively, usually shoots older than 3-5 years are removed. The bushes are rejuvenated so that three to five productive young shoots remain.
- Blackberries can be pruned in spring and fall. In autumn, the old two-year-old shoots that have already finished fruiting are removed. They are cut at ground level without leaving any stumps. It is easy to distinguish old blackberry shoots from annual ones – their bark acquires a cinnabar brown hue. In addition, blackberry bushes are thinned out, removing weak shoots.
- The gooseberry, growing strongly in summer, does not look like impassable jungle, which is why it is convenient to thin out the crown of the plant in autumn. Strong thickening reduces the illumination of the crown, which directly affects the yield. An overgrown bush requires more nutrients, as a result of which the plant may experience starvation. Old, broken, twisted and diseased branches are cut to ground level. All other shoots are shortened to the level of developed strong buds. Cuts are made with a sharp tool at 45 degrees.
Autumn pruning methods for fruit trees
There are two ways to prune trees in the fall:
- Cut to the kidney – used to direct the growth of the shoot in a given direction. For the operation, they retreat about 2 mm above the kidney and make an oblique cut with a sharp instrument.
- Cut into a ring – in this way, branches that grow incorrectly are removed, which take food from healthy shoots. The entire shoot is cut off completely, making a cut along the outer edge of the ring.
Autumn pruning algorithm:
- Removal of excess growth, including root.
- Cutting off the lower shoots at the fork.
- Removal of tops.
- Pruning branches growing inside the crown, at an acute angle to the trunk, with overlaps and criss-crossing.
- Removing shoots growing down or parallel to the main trunk.
No need to do rejuvenating and shaping pruning in the fall – leave these tasks until spring. Now it is important to send trees and bushes in the winter with a healthy crown, and for this it is enough to remove only dry and diseased branches.
Do not forget that along with the autumn work on the rehabilitation of fruit trees and shrubs, new varieties are being planted to renew the garden. Autumn is the perfect time for rooting and not to be missed.
We recommend that you look into the catalog of our store and get acquainted with the new varieties of fruit trees – the choice is very large. Nuts, apple trees, pears, persimmons – here you will find everything that you have long dreamed of and wanted to plant.
Article author: Oksana Artemenko