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Video: Summer Pruning Of Fruit Trees. What Is It For? Basic Techniques. Photo
All gardeners are well aware that pruning of fruit trees is more appropriate and safer to carry out precisely in the spring period, usually, this is the end of February and March, when there is no longer severe frosts, but it is still quite far from the beginning 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 for summer pruning of fruit trees.
- What is summer pruning for?
- Blinding the kidneys
- Breaking shoots
- Bending branches
What is summer pruning for?
Pruning fruit trees in summer can bring the fruiting period closer, form a fully developed crown, promote 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 budding period, frozen shoots may lag behind in development. If the buds bloom on them later, then such 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 are very frozen and which are not, you can only wait until the beginning of summer, then you can remove them.
Blinding the kidneys
Buds on fruit trees can be both vegetative and generative or mixed, but still more often an shoot is formed from the bud. Young shoots are needed by the plant, sometimes they are located well, and sometimes they grow deeper 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 the branch from the trunk, the better from the point of view of yield and vice versa, the smaller the angle of the branch from the trunk, the worse for yield. In the event that the buds are located so that when 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 using a conventional garden knife. The kidney must be carefully cut off with a knife, and the place where it was must be covered with garden pitch.
You should know that at the base of each kidney there are additional, so-called dormant kidneys, usually there are two of them, and after the death of the main kidney, they wake up and start growing, so you need to remove them as well. It is imperative 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 overgrows.
Removing the kidney, in addition to the obvious benefit, will also bring indirect benefits: nutrients will be directed to more well-located kidneys. It is permissible to use kidney blinding on young plants two or three years old. 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 one should be left behind. In addition, you will have to remove a large number of unnecessary buds, which is very difficult, so it is better not to carry out this technique on mature trees.
This technique is consonant with operations carried out on vegetable crops. In relation to fruit crops, the very essence of the operation being carried out practically does not change, it is also the breaking or pruning of green growths, that is, young shoots before they become lignified. Usually such an operation is carried out 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 growth of shoots 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, then they can either be broken off entirely if they come from the main shoot, or the green tips of already existing shoots can be removed. Places of removal of green shoots must be isolated with garden paint or garden varnish.
Usually this technique is carried out on young shoots, but at the same time 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 rather long.
This technique will stop the growth of the shoot in length, and will stimulate its maturation and thickening. As a result, by the fall, the shoot will necessarily become woody and durable, withstand the adhesion of wet snow and will not break further under the weight of the harvest. Pinching is used by both 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. The 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 south side of the crown, they are longer than the shoots growing on the north side of the crown, and this technique allows you to equalize the length of the shoots growing on both sides of the crown.
Pinching 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 blades of the pruner or garden shears should be wiped with a cloth soaked in alcohol.
This technique consists in breaking out or cutting out from the crown of a fruit tree young annual shoots that grow at an acute angle to the crown, tops that grow strictly vertically, or young shoots that develop towards the depth of the crown, which will further lead to its thickening …
If this operation is carried out in June, then the shoots are extremely easy to remove with garden shears or even manually, you can also use a pruner. When removing such shoots in July, they may have time to partially lignite and you will have to cut them into a ring with a sharp pruner. Breaking out semi-lignified shoots is dangerous, it can lead to bark scuffing. After removing the shoots, the places of the cuts must be covered with garden varnish or garden paint.
Usually, you can start cutting or breaking out the shoots when they reach a length of five centimeters. Already during this period of shoot development, it is easy to understand whether they are needed or not.
This technique is used both on young fruit trees and on older ones. Its need is dictated by the fact that on 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. Bending such shoots to the maximum angles of inclination from the trunk will lead to the fact that a crop will form on them, and they will become full-fledged fruiting branches.
It is most appropriate to bend the shoots in the summer. At this time, the shoots are maximally pliable 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 usually bent by tying twine, strong rope or wire to them. In this case, a piece of rubber must be placed under the place where the wire is attached to the shoot.
Further, 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 the branch from the trunk. It remains to fix the wire and make sure that no constrictions form at the point where the wire or rope touches 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 on the rope or wire can be loosened and you can see the result - if the branch remains in the position that the rope gave it, then the rope or wire can be completely untied.
Conclusion. Here are examples of the most common summer pruning techniques. If everything is carried out as we described, then the risk of negative phenomena will be minimized. In general, you should not be afraid of summer pruning, as a rule, during this period the plants are susceptible to pruning, and the removal of green shoots in the future will have a positive effect on 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 summer pruning is even easier for fruit trees to endure in spring.
From this we can conclude that summer pruning is both safe and beneficial for plants, and should not be neglected.