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Pruning trees is an important job as it increases the yield and quality of the fruit and makes harvesting easier. However, wrong pruning can have unintended consequences. According to expert advisers, winter removal of redundant branches is the most important job in orchards.
Pruning trees involves a number of fruit techniques and methods, which are used on fruit trees to control growth, remove dead or diseased branches, and to stimulate and produce flower and fruit buds.
Pruning often means cutting the branches, sometimes removing smaller parts of the fruit entirely. It can also mean removing young shoots, buds, leaves, etc. Pruning and training young trees affects their later productivity and longevity. Good pruning can also prevent subsequent injuries from the weight of the fruit, snow or ice on the branches.
The main goal of pruning trees is to get good fruit yield. Pruning attempts to balance shoot growth and fruit production. The reason for regular pruning is to achieve the correct ratio between vegetative and native (generative) buds, in order to strike a balance between growth and fertility. In addition, the balance between the underground and aboveground parts is regulated.
5 steps for proper trees pruning in orchards:
- Remove the thicker branches that grow inwards.
- The branches that grow upright should be shortened at the branching point to encourage their growth and bud formation. This will strengthen the horizontal branches that yield the most fruit.
- The shoots on which fertile or generative buds have already formed should be reduced to one-third. So the branches will not be too long and will not shoot under the weight of the fruit.
- Always use a sharp tool for pruning. It is advisable to briefly burn the scissors with a flame when switching from fruit to fruit to disinfect it, ie not to transmit viruses if present.
- Any larger wounds from pruning should be coated with fruit wax.
Many will wonder why pruning is so important today when fruit trees have yielded fruit before and have never been pruned. The answer is quite simple: Today, there is much greater demand for large, attractive looking fruits. The trees will surely bear fruit at harvest time, even without pruning. But not cut trees often bear much smaller fruit, which loads the branches that eventually burst in the summer under load. So if you want a decent harvest, you should definitely consider pruning the fruit.
Commonly used pruning techniques
The most commonly used pruning techniques are thinning and shortening.
Thinning removes excess shoots and increases fertility while cutting shoots short allows the plant to branch at a certain height.
Remove dry and broken branches
Whether enthusiasts or professionals, at the beginning of trees pruning, fruit growers must remove the dried and broken branches. Remove the branches that make the shade, then the ones that have too much exuberance and finally the ones that need too much water. From the branches that remain, we form a breeding form.
Before starting to remove branches, it is necessary to decide whether to start from the lower or upper part of the tree. In my opinion, it is better to start from the bottom. Pruning the lower branches allows the pruned branches and shoots to fall to the ground. Otherwise, “nests” are formed on the tree, which removal can damage the buds.
The highest branch casts a shadow over the lower part of the tree, thus slowing the development of buds. No bud to be formed during June and July likes the shade. On the first branch, it is important that we have a horizontal with a flower bud. When the fruit bends the branch, it will almost come into the grass. No matter that the flower bud is here, I’ll cut it in half lengthwise to form flower buds here next year.
Follow the breeding form
There are differences in pruning between fruit species, but the most important thing is to follow the growing form. Just follow the profession, follow the default breeding form and you will get a good tree.
Each producer has its own pruning method, the rules of which cannot in some cases be strictly defined. Everyone may have a vision of how to prune a tree. Therefore, no rules should be obeyed. Keep to the basic principles – make the lower branches a little wider and the upper narrower for the sake of illumination. If we have central conductor around it, branches are formed, but if it is a breeding form of “vases” then we have no central conductors so we pull everything out from the middle.
It is also important to choose an appropriate tool, which is disinfected with alcohol before pruning. Orchardmen, for good fruit development, must harvest at optimal times, neither too early nor too late.
When to prune trees in your orchard
Winter pruning of young fruit removes one-year-old shoots at the top of the skeletal branches, thinning the shoots, and removing some of the more redundant branches that have an undesirable position. A regular incision is always oblique with respect to the pup and about 0.4 inches above the pup. When pruning, care must be taken not to cut obliquely towards the bud. There is a tall stump opposite the pup, and raindrops can flow to the pup and rot may occur.
Pruning is carried out from autumn (after the end of vegetation), in winter and until the beginning of spring, while the tree is at rest. Summer pruning is done at the beginning of summer, in order to obtain the highest quality fruits and to relieve the fruit.
The plants form new tissue in an area called the meristem, which is located close to the tips of the roots and shoots, where active cell division takes place. Meristem growth is intended to ensure that the leaves are quickly raised in the sun and that the root penetrates deep into the soil. The tip meristem (the vegetative tip of the stem and root), with mitosis, allows the stem to grow in height or root in-depth. Lateral plant tissues (they develop later and form rings) allow the plant to grow in width; the main tissue is the vascular cambium (in the cross-section of the plant the cambium ring), which forms xylem (wood) towards the center, and phloem towards the surface.