The formation and pruning of fruit trees are the most important agro-measures that must be regularly carried out in every orchard. This task is comparable to the work of the sculptor, when everything is removed too much to get the perfect shape. Only a sculptor works with a heartless stone that does not hurt. And for the correct pruning of fruit and other trees, you should try not to harm the plants, to make the greenery suffer as little as possible.
Pruning and forming the crown of fruit trees is not only cutting out extra branches or restraining the growth of a plant. This is a gradual, phased creation of the desired form of the crown. In this case, they use not only the removal of unnecessary branches, but also other techniques, for example, bending of branches and an inoculation.
The optimal time for carrying out the main work on pruning fruit trees in the garden is early spring, before the leaves bloom. In extreme cases, trees can be pruned and later - during bud break.
Basically, the removal of decorative crowns requires a strictly defined position of the branches in space, which is achieved by bending them. From the slope of the branches depends on their intensity of growth and fruiting. As a rule, for this they use low-growing seedlings on dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstocks.
Seed rootstocks should not be used: such fruit trees will be difficult to form, as they are characterized by strong growth, and in the future it will take a lot of forces to keep the crown in a given shape.
In most cases, trees are grown as tapeworms or in group plantings, but the creation of hedges is also possible. This article discusses the basic principles of creating decorative forms of fruit trees by pruning and options for decorative shaping in a fruit garden.
The principle of pruning fruit trees in the garden to obtain a longline crown
The simplest and most common form of the crown when pruning fruit trees - sparsely-tiered.
Plants formed in this way have, as a rule, a large amount of crown, which means that this is the optimal form for tall trees. In this case, the large branches on the trunk are located closer together, then singly. Their total number should not exceed 5-7 pcs.
When forming a sparse-tiered crown in fruit trees, simply remove all unnecessary, space-thickening branches, as well as branches, forming sharp forks. Those branches that remain should diverge evenly in all directions, not overshadow each other and not intersect.
How to correctly prune fruit trees to form such a crown?
To begin to begin one-year sapling. It is cut off. To cut the sapling at the right height, decide where you would like to see the lowest branches of the tree. Now pull back the 20-25, see and trim.
The following year, before correctly cutting the fruit trees in the spring, select the uppermost, upright escape and shorten it.
Of the rest, leave only the 2-3 escape, aimed in different directions. Well, if they will be at some distance from each other. Shorten them around 1 / 3. The rest of the shoots need to cut out completely.
At the base of the shoots, a small fold of bark can be discerned. The cut should fall on this fold (on the ring). This will ensure rapid overgrowth of wounds. You can not cut the shoots, if their length is not more than 15-20, see
The following year, pruning of fruit trees in the spring is carried out similarly. When choosing new thick shoots for the skeleton of the crown, proceed from the fact that the distance between the tiers of the branches should be about 80 cm, and from the tier to the separately located branches - at least 50 cm.
When the required number of branches has been formed, the sprout of the continuation of the trunk (center conductor) is cut out above the upper skeletal branch. In the future, the principle of pruning fruit trees is reduced to the removal of vertically growing strong shoots intersecting and rubbing, as well as damaged branches (sanitary pruning).
This video demonstrates pruning fruit trees to form a sparse-tier crown:
How to make pruning of fruit trees in the form of a spindle (with photo)
Another, relatively simple crown in the formation of fruit trees is a slender spindle (Grusbeck).
The diameter of such crowns is relatively small - 1-1,5 m. As a rule, such a crown is formed on a low boom - 30-40 cm, and is ideal for trees on dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstocks.
Pruning when forming such a crown of fruit trees is about the same as in the first case. Only now you need to remove all too short and too long shoots, as well as shoots growing vertically, that is, with a sharp angle of discharge.
The center conductor is shortened to induce active branching. In such a crown, 20-30 branches are left depending on the height of the tree.
In the future, for proper pruning of fruit trees in the spring, it is necessary to maintain the length of branches no more than 1 m. To do this, they are pruned over side branches.
See a photo of pruning fruit trees in the shape of a spindle:
Speaking about the formation of rounded crowns of fruit trees, it is impossible not to recall the standard forms. With trees, getting them is much easier than with shrubs. For woody plants, this form is close to natural, therefore, to grow such an apple tree or a pear is not difficult.
It is only necessary to grow a tree of the desired height and prune it where you would like to see the first branches. Of course, we must bear in mind that pruning below 1 m will not give the desired effect, and above 2 m it is not advisable to bring out shtami for the fruit tree. Imagine: a two-meter stand, but the crown itself -1,5 m, and yet still harvest!
To make pruning fruit trees correctly, as advised by experienced gardeners, you need to decide on the height. After that, the entire height of the trunk must be carefully removed all branches and buds, and then (in the first year) pinch all the shoots formed in the upper part to form the crown.
Particular attention should be paid to strong, upward growing shoots -wolves. They will appear all the time, and if they are missed, the crown will turn out to be high and uneven.
Another important secret of pruning fruit trees that beginners need to be aware of is the need to ensure that the crown does not thicken. That is not to regret, but to immediately cut out on the ring too weak, crossed shoots growing inside the crown.
It is better to lose a year on the formation, than to suffer, cutting thick branches. Especially since all this will affect the decorativeness of the tree and, of course, the harvest.
Here you can watch a video of how to prune fruit trees in spring on a trunk:
Decorative pruning of fruit trees in the form of a cordon for beginners (with video)
More difficult to form, but also more exotic and decorative - crowns of small volume or flat (cordon).
It is safe to say that, having understood the principle of forming a cordon, it will be easy to master any other classical form. In the end, you need to get the trunk without branches, evenly covered with overgrown branches.
According to the rules for pruning fruit trees, a one-year sapling begins to form. It is important that the kidneys awaken throughout the entire height of the trunk. To stimulate the awakening of buds in spring, the seedling is shortened at a height of about 70 cm - in varieties with high budding of buds; or 40-50 cm - in varieties with weak awakenability.
If this is not done, the lower part of the trunk will be bare. However, too much decorative pruning of fruit trees is harmful, since strong shoots are formed that are unsuitable for further formation. Some strong vertical shoots are better to cut on the ring or leave small hemp in case there are few shoots.
The rest of the shoots pinch the 6-8 sheet. It should be remembered that the top shoots grow stronger than the bottom. And in order to avoid the weakening of the lower shoots, they are left a little longer than the top. This procedure is repeated throughout the summer.
In the future, each spring, in order to prune fruit trees in the manner that a proper agricultural technique presupposes, the center conductor is again shortened and all of the above methods are repeated.
The final height of the tree depends on the variety and your desire, of course, within reason: it is not very convenient to pinch the shoots and harvest at an altitude of more than 3 meters.
In this video for beginners, pruning of fruit trees in the form of a cordon is shown:
Spring formative pruning of fruit trees with crown palmetta
When creating a palmette there are many options. These days, the requirements for forming a palmette are, of course, simpler than before. Yes, and various variations on this topic have long existed. So the choice is yours.
Spring pruning of fruit trees in the shape of a palmette may consist of two skeletal branches located in one tier. Can be a candelabra - four or more branches. Branches can be located in the 2 tier, as in Verier's palmettes. A freer version is also possible, for example, Montreit palmette. A distinctive feature of the palmette - the location of all branches in the same plane.
The easiest to shape is a simple U-shaped palmette. Everything happens similarly to the removal of a two shoulder cordon. Only the skeletal branches are first fixed horizontally on the stretched wire, and then, at a distance of 15 cm from the bob, are directed upwards and fixed on vertical supports. Plants in the hedge are placed at intervals 70-80, see
A more complex version of forming pruning of fruit trees is a double U-shaped palmette. In this embodiment, each skeletal branch forks again. Before you make such pruning of fruit trees, it is important to establish in advance the framework for all planned branches.
Palmette Verier provides a second tier or center conductor. So, after the first pruning of an annual sapling, you need to leave not 2, but 3 escape - the uppermost one will be a continuation of the trunk. If the second tier is planned, then the lower branches are fixed horizontally along the 70-80 for cm in both directions and only then directed upwards. The distance between the tiers - 40 cm.
Chandelier palmettes - one of the more complex options.
Here you may need not only the art of forming, but also the ability to inoculate. Formation begins with the removal of a horizontal two shoulders cordon: after reaching a certain length, the branches are bent upwards.
On the branches themselves form vertical shoots. It is important that everything is symmetrical, so in the absence of shoots in the right places, it is necessary to vaccinate the kidney.
A simpler option is the Montreal palmettes.
In this case, the vertical shoots on the horizontal branches are chosen arbitrarily.
When forming palmettes, it is necessary to take into account that the growth of the branches will be weaker than when forming cordons. Therefore, more vigorous varieties are chosen for palmettes, and the length of last year's increments is left within 30-40 cm, otherwise the arrangement of the overgrowing branches will be uneven.
It is very important to monitor the uniform growth of all branches. And if the branches are weak, the next stage of forming is better to be postponed for a year.
How to form a hedge from fruit trees
Cordons are used not only in single plantings, but also to create hedges. In this case, seedlings are placed at a distance of 40-60 cm from each other.
You can output and horizontal cordon. In this case, the trunk of an annual sapling is tied to a stretched rope. Such plants have very slow growth. A more careful shaping is also required here - strong shoots will constantly form in the place of bending.
And to stimulate growth, the upper part of the trunk should always be directed upwards. As an option for a hedge, the trunk can be not directed horizontally, but fixed at an angle 30-60 °.
There are two shoulders cordons. For their shaping, the trunks are shortened at a height of 30, see. From the grown shoots, two of the most suitable are selected and fixed on supports with a deviation from the vertical position on 30-45 °. Further formation occurs according to the already considered scheme.
Fruit trees are ideal for creating a trellis fence.
Annual seedlings are best planted in the spring at a distance of 1,5-2 m. The main task in the first year is the survival of all plants. They must root well. Strong growth is a sign that the plants have taken root normally. At the end of the season, wooden supports are installed or wire is tensioned, to which branches will be attached in the future to give them the desired shape and direction.
The lower tier of the branches may be at different levels, but not too close to the ground, otherwise the branches will subside and be damaged when caring for the trees. The following spring, the seedling is pruned just above the level set for the first tier.
During the summer, leave three escapes: the topmost and strongest one becomes the center conductor, and the two below are fixed on supports or wires in a given direction. A year later, in the spring, all unnecessary shoots are removed, and the central conductor is shortened just above the next tier, the formation takes place according to the already considered scheme.
When the folded branches of neighboring trees close, they are joined together, and the ends are shortened. Gradually they grow together, which provides greater durability of the fence. And so it continues until the tree grows to the specified size. After that, the central conductor is transferred to a weak branch or folded.
Every year during the summer all the tops — strong shoots that form on the bent branches — break out or pinch when they reach the length of 5-10, see. When the trees take on the form you originally intended, you can remove all the supports.
When performing any forming, it may happen that the desired shoot grows too weak or too strong, and the tree is formed unevenly.
In this case, the growth force can be adjusted by changing the angle of the branch: a more horizontal position weakens growth, a more vertical one strengthens. When the desired result is achieved, you can give the branch a given shape.
It happens that in the right place the kidney is weak and is unlikely to awaken, and if it starts to grow, then the escape from it will be too weak. Over such a kidney, karbovka is made - a piece of bark is cut out, which leads to the emergence of a shoot in the right place and its growing growth. Kerbing can be carried out over the annual twig, if it has too weak growth.
While bending the branches, it is necessary to remember that the limb should not be below the horizontal position, and the top should always be directed upwards. Otherwise, there is a rapid aging and dying off of the branch.
Pruning and shaping fruit trees to maintain appearance
It remains to consider ways to maintain the appearance of the plants as you formed it. The biggest job is, of course, spring pruning. It is carried out when the already severe frosts are behind - in March - the first half of April. It is desirable to complete these works before bud break.
Starting pruning, first of all remove all diseased and damaged branches, then all the branches that grow inside the crown or bush, as well as intersecting and rubbing against each other. Neither are those branches that grow down or lie on the ground, there is no prok from them: neither beauty nor harvest.
And further, the actions will be aimed at creating a concrete form that needs to be clearly presented to itself and resolutely go towards the target.
Remember! You can not put the cut back, and it may take more than one year to correct errors!
It is better not to get carried away by shortening: and the crop will be lost, and the crown will thicken too much. It is best to prune over a well-located side branch, that is, transfer to a side branch.
On cordons, palmettes and trellis, when the fruit twigs age and are overloaded with fruit buds, they are applied rejuvenating pruning. To do this, cut off part of the fruit formation over a strong branch.
If this is not done, the fruit is badly tied, gradually shrinking, and the fruit branch itself grows old and dies. And since the quality of the branches in the crown is limited in these forms, it will be impossible to restore the fruiting.
When working with columnar apple trees, spring pruning is needed only if there is more than one shoot in the upper part of the plant, but several. In this case, you must leave one of the strongest shoots, even if he has not the highest position. All branches above the left escape must be cut into a ring, and those that are lower must be shortened by 2 — see 3.