Summer pruning of fruit trees
All gardeners are well aware that pruning fruit trees is more appropriate and safer in the spring, usually this is the end of February and March, when there are no severe frosts, but it is still quite far from the start of the growing season. In fact, in addition to spring pruning, it is quite possible to carry out summer pruning, it is most often carried out in relation to young trees, and it consists in their formation. In this article we will talk about the rules and techniques of summer pruning of fruit trees.
- What is summer pruning for?
- Kidney blinding
- Shoot breaking
- Branch bending
What is summer pruning for?
The pruning of fruit trees in the summer can bring the fruiting period closer, form a fully developed crown, contribute to the ripening of young shoots and their more complete formation.
Very often, summer pruning is carried out in relation to frozen plants. In the case of freezing of individual branches, it is extremely difficult to distinguish them from healthy shoots in early spring. During the period of budding, frozen shoots may lag behind in development. If the buds bloom on them later, then these shoots can not be touched, but if the buds do not bloom at all, then such shoots will need to be cut into a ring. To understand which shoots were very frozen and which are not, you can only wait until the beginning of summer, then you can remove them.
You should know that summer pruning should be considered precisely as an addition to spring pruning, but not be the main one.
Buds on fruit trees can be either vegetative or generative or mixed, but still more often an shoot is formed from the bud. The plant needs young shoots, sometimes they are located successfully, and sometimes they grow deep into the crown, thickening it or grow vertically upward turning into tops on which there are no fruits.
You should be aware that the larger the angle of departure of the branch from the trunk, the better from the point of view of productivity and vice versa, the smaller the angle of departure of the branch from the trunk, the worse for yield. In the event that the buds are arranged so that if shoots appear from them in the future, these same shoots will have to be removed, then it is best to immediately remove this bud. The bud is removed on the shoot with a conventional garden knife. The kidney should be carefully cut with a knife, and the place where it was located must be covered with garden varnish.
You should know that at the base of each kidney there are additional, so-called sleeping kidneys, usually there are two of them and after the death of the main kidney they wake up and start to grow, so you need to remove them. It is necessary to remove the kidneys with a small piece of bark, but it is important not to touch the cambial layers, only in this case the wound quickly heals.
Removing a kidney, in addition to its obvious benefits, will bring indirect benefits: nutrients will be sent to more well-placed kidneys. Acceptance of blinding of the kidneys is permissible to apply specifically to young plants aged two or three years. It is in such plants that shoots are usually formed from the buds, and in older plants with a formed crown it is difficult to understand which bud should be removed and which should be left. In addition, it is necessary to remove a large number of unnecessary buds, which is very difficult, therefore, it is better not to carry out such an admission on adult trees.
This technique is consonant with operations carried out on vegetable crops. In relation to fruit crops, the very essence of the operation is practically unchanged, it is also a breakage or pruning of green growths, that is, young shoots before lignification. Usually they carry out such an operation in the summer, it is permissible to carry out it both on young plants and on adults.
First you need to decide on the direction of shoot growth and the need for their presence in the crown. In the event that the shoots grow in such a way that they will certainly thicken the crown in the future, they can either be broken down entirely if they come from the main shoot, or the green tips of existing shoots can be removed. Places to remove green shoots must be isolated with garden paint or garden var.
Usually this technique is carried out on young shoots, but the shoots are not completely removed, as in the case of pinching, but their tops are cut off five centimeters long if the shoot is short enough, and ten centimeters if the shoot is quite long.
This technique will stop the growth of the shoot in length, and will stimulate its maturation and thickening. As a result, the shoot will surely lignify and become strong by the fall, will withstand the sticking of wet snow and will not break further under the weight of the crop. Nippers are used both by private gardeners and large farmers.
This technique is simple, but it allows you to effectively regulate the development of skeletal branches of young fruit trees. Inhibition of branch growth, in addition to improving its properties, also contributes to a more harmonious development of the crown. Most often, the shoots that are pinched grow on the southern side of the crown, they are longer than the shoots growing on the northern side of the crown, and this technique allows you to align the length of the shoots growing on both sides of the crown.
It is better to pinch in July, if it is carried out in June, then secondary shoot growth can be observed and pinch will have to be repeated.
Nailing is carried out manually using scissors or secateurs. In order to prevent the transmission of infection from an infected tree to a healthy one, after finishing work with one tree, the pruning shears or clippers need to be wiped with a cloth soaked in alcohol.
This technique consists in breaking out or cutting from the crown of the fruit tree young annual shoots that grow at an acute angle to the crown, tops growing strictly vertically, or young shoots that develop in the direction deep into the crown, which will subsequently lead to its thickening .
If you carry out this operation in June, it is extremely easy to remove the shoots with garden scissors or even manually, you can use a pruner. When you remove these shoots in July, they may have time to partially lignify and you will have to cut them into a ring with a sharp secateurs. It is dangerous to break out the semi-lignified shoots, this can lead to bullying of the bark. After removing the shoots, the places of cuts must be covered with garden varnish or garden paint.
Usually, cutting or breaking shoots can be started after they reach a length of five centimeters. Already in this period of shoot development, one can easily understand whether they are needed or not.
This technique is used both on young fruit trees and on older adults. Its necessity is dictated by the fact that on the vertical shoots and shoots extending from the trunks at an acute angle, a minimum number of fruits is formed or they are not formed at all. The bending of such shoots to the maximum angles of inclination from the trunk will lead to the fact that they will form a crop, and they will become full-fledged fruiting branches.
The bending of the shoots is most appropriate to carry out in the summer. At this time, the shoots are most malleable and kinks at the bend of the shoot will be excluded (or at least the risk of their occurrence will be minimal). The shoots are bent away usually by tying twine, a strong rope or wire to them. At the same time, under the place of attachment of the wire to the shoot, it is necessary to put a piece of rubber.
Next, the wire or twine must be attached to an adjacent more powerful branch or to the trunk in order to achieve the desired angle of departure of the branch from the trunk. It remains to fix the wire and make sure that no tangles form at the point of contact of the wire or rope and the shoot.
Usually, after four or five months, the branch takes the position that it is given by bending. After this time, the tension of the rope or wire can be loosened and look at the result - if the branch remains in the position that the rope attached to it, then the rope or wire can be untied completely.
Conclusion Here are examples of the most common summer pruning techniques. If we carry out everything as we described, then the risk of negative phenomena will be minimized. In general, one should not be afraid of summer pruning, as a rule, during this period the plants are prone to pruning, and the removal of green shoots in the future will positively affect the growth and development of the crown of the fruit tree.
By the way, if we talk about the influence of summer pruning and spring pruning on a fruit tree, it is noticed that fruit trees tolerate summer pruning even easier than spring.
From this we can conclude that summer pruning is both safe and beneficial for plants, and should not be neglected.