How do you prune fruit trees? A solid guide

How do you prune fruit trees? A solid guide
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Pruning fruit trees is one of the basic maintenance procedures that affect their health and development. It is good to know how to do it and when is the best time for it.

Properly performed pruning of fruit trees and bushes is very important for their further yielding. In this way you can influence what fruit they produce, but also form the shape of the plant and improve its appearance. By getting rid of old, diseased and unwanted branches, you maintain the health of fruit trees and stimulate the growth of new shoots. It is important to remember to carry out the treatment at the right time. For individual species, often the most convenient time is quite different.

First pruning

After buying and planting a fruit tree, the first pruning for most of them should be done in the spring. We start by shortening the crown. This will help the plant take up better and get favorable conditions for growth. If the tree is characterized by branching, you should get rid of all side shoots growing no more than 50 cm in height, and the rest should be shortened by 1/3 of its length.

It is also necessary to reduce the number of shoots that are very strong and with their thickness approaching or equalling the guide. When pruning fruit trees and bushes you need to remember to keep fairly wide angles between shoots, so that the proper access of light to the plant and faster ripening of the fruit.

How to do the pruning?

The technique of pruning fruit trees depends on many factors, including the species we are dealing with and the prevailing weather conditions. There are several types of pruning depending on the goal you want to achieve.

These include:

  • rejuvenation pruning,
  • formative pruning,
  • clear cutting,
  • sanitary pruning,
  • corrective cutting.

The most important thing, especially in the first phase of cultivation, is the proper formation of the tree. You should especially focus on it in the first three years. After that, it is worth moving on to overexposure, which ensures a good sun exposure of the plant.

When pruning, it is important above all to get rid of branches that obscure the crown. Pay attention to branches that are located very close to each other and begin to overlap and cross. Some of them are suitable for removal. Branches that grow inward instead of outward also need to be reduced in number. Remember to get the right pruning tools before you start.

Regularity is very important in pruning as it affects how the tree will develop. Only a good, annual pruning will have the desired effect.

When to prune fruit trees?

Due to the specific nature of each species, the operation of pruning fruit trees and bushes must be carried out at the right time. Treatments are divided into those performed in the summer season (growing season) and the winter season (resting period). The first should be apple, pear and plum trees. We trim them at the end of February

The more delicate peaches and nectarines prefer it when it is a bit warmer, so it is better to choose a bit later date for them. Species that need to be taken care of in the summer, already after the harvest of fruit, for example, are apricots, cherries and cherries.

Main photo: Couleur/

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