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


In a good orchard be sure to eat apples. And 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 time.

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

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

Apple tree 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 and until 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

Apple pruning carried out:

  • Spring before bud break to improve the condition of the tree and its fertility;
  • During the summer anti-aging "pruning without a knife" is used: pinching of shoots and breaking, bending, etc .;
  • In the autumn after the fall of the 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 are created for good crown illumination and sufficient nutrition for potentially productive high-quality plots;
  • Sanitary pruning for cleansing from damaged and diseased branches is carried out at any age.

Spring trimming benefits

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

In the spring, trees are easier to tolerate various operations, which will contribute to the sap flow of the apple. And the gardener has enough time to carry out the entire procedure with high quality and accurate.

In the autumn, cutting 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.

Removal of unwanted branches in young apple trees begin before the buds swell. From spring to early summer, you can work out a columnar apple tree.

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

The benefits 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 it 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 autumn, cutting branches provokes the beginning of growth

Avoid pruning when it rains 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 inanimate, weak, too heavy side branches, thin out the crown. Shoots, crouched to the ground, leave, too stretched upward young branches cut off as low 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. Branches that touch others, intersect with them, interfere, grow incorrectly or impede the growth of neighboring trees are removed;
  • 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 implement the correction of 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 cut an apple tree by yourself?

This question is asked and 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’s best to see how they do it on their lot. 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 do your own pruning and share your experience.

And start with the basic principles and techniques of pruning apple crown:

  • Have strong-growing apple leave 75 cm shtamba (main trunk);
  • In low growth - 55 cm. Above the trunk, 6-7 buds are left, and the apex.
Be sure to consider the features of trimming a separate grade!

Apple tree pruning scheme

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

a - at the main shoot strong growth, and the lateral branches grew 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 forms of apple crown, which are most common:

  • Sparse-tiered form. On a seedling, 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 sapling development, all branches that are at a height below 1 m from the ground surface should be cut off. 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 spring, when the shape of the tree is clearly visible, it is especially convenient to visually correct the actions.. 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.

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

First year they cut off the largest excess branches: the sick, intertwined, those that interfere with and make unnecessary deformations, with bare bark.

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

Trimming technique

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

  1. The branches are removed as close as possible to the trunk., leaving no hemp from the slice, even the youngest.
  2. Big branches are shortened firstand then cut off completely. If using a saw, first make a cut from below to avoid bark trauma at the base. After that, the branch is cut from the top.
  3. Cutting places should be treated with garden var or oil paint. on the 2nd day. Do not use enamel and nitro paints.

All main branches should be placed evenly around the center conductor, which must be left 25 cm higher than the other branches.

If you overdo it and greatly shorten the shoots, it can cause unnecessary branches. And the mandatory rule is to prune apple trees every year!

How to prune a column-shaped apple tree?

Columnar apple tree

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

First option

  • For the 2nd year pinch the tops of the young branches that have a length of more than 30 cm. The uppermost shoot cannot be cut off.
  • On the 3rd year shorten the lateral branches to 40 cm, and pin the upper shoot 25 cm from the central trunk.
  • On the 4th year remove all branches that grow incorrectly, are intertwined and weak.
In the future, try to keep your tree no higher than 3 m and cut unnecessary bends.

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

Second option

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

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

How to prune a dwarf apple tree?

Starting pruning such apple trees, remember that your task is to give it to develop in breadth, and not up.

Dwarf Apple Trees

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

  • In the spring of an annual tree cut at 50cm from the soil and cover up the cut with garden pitch.
  • Next spring side branches shortened to the second bud, and a quarter of the shortened central escape.
  • Next year remove completely the branches that grow down and deep into the crown, and the main shoot and side branches - by 20 cm. You should strive to form a rounded small crown.

Formation of the crown of dwarf apple trees is usually 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 thing. 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.