Features of pruning apple trees in autumn
Pruning a fruit tree is an important procedure designed to form a crown and rejuvenate the plant. How to do this for the apple tree - we will consider in this article.
Why prune apple trees
Each culture during its growth is prone to thickening and the formation of irregular shoots. In addition, it is necessary to remove old, obsolete branches and diseased formations. A beautiful and well-groomed tree is the decoration of the site, and for this you need to make some effort.
Did you know? There is another type of pruning of fruit trees growing in gardens - contour. This is done in order to form a corridor for passage of cleaning equipment in the aisles.
Pruning of branches of fruit trees is of the following types:
- seasonal - the work necessary to remove thickening and incorrectly growing branches;
- sanitary - it is better to remove broken, sick and excessively knotted branches;
- formative - the formation of the crown is made depending on the size of the tree, the need for a given variety and the growth rate of the branches.
The crown of the apple tree can have both a round and a pyramidal shape, which are supported by the timely shortening of shoots to the desired length.
Step-by-step cropping instructions
To process the apple tree, it is necessary to stock up on tools and carefully study the technology of the procedure.
Before starting work, you must prepare the tools. There are no special tricks here - a high-quality secateurs will help to remove all unnecessary branches. Ordinary garden shears, a knife, a saw on a tree, a ladder, a rake for collecting cut off parts and a box for collecting garbage are necessary equipment for carrying out this procedure.
The technique of pruning apple trees
Apple trees are pruned in different ways, depending on the age and variety of the crop.
The method of removing old branches helps rejuvenate the tree.
Circumcision to the ring is done like this:
- a file is made from the bottom of the branch so that when it is removed there is no injury to the tree and gardener;
- the branch is sawn from above, the hacksaw needs to be kept perpendicular to the place of sawing;
- hacksaw movements must be clear and even.
1 - Correct; 2 - Wrong: the stump will dry out, a hollow will form and a top will grow; 3 - Wrong: too deep.
As a result of such an operation, a circle will remain, called the trunk ring, which indicates the place where the branch grows.
This method is used taking into account the angle of departure of future shoots from the mother branch. Only the third bud from the place of cut will shoot almost horizontally - in order to have a good harvest, it is these branches that need to be well looked after.
Trimming to the third kidney is carried out with a sharp secateurs and is not a big deal. It is necessary to consider a tree branch, mark the bud from which the shoot will grow at an angle of 50–90 ° from the vertical axis, and remove part of the branch two buds above it.
1 - Correct; 2 and 3 - Wrong.
Rules for coating slices
After sawing branches, you need to help the apple tree quickly cope with stress. Slices when shortening young branches do not need processing, since they are able to heal on their own.
But larger saw cuts (from 2.5–3 cm) must be processed according to this scheme:
- the wound is leveled from barbs and parts of the bark with a sharp garden knife;
- a disinfectant solution of potassium permanganate or copper sulfate is applied to the saw cut with a brush;
- the wound should dry for several days;
- the section is smeared with a special solution without affecting the bark.
Important! All operations with updating the tree must be carried out in dry weather, in order to prevent decay of the places of pruning.
Coating is carried out with one of the following mixtures:
- clay talker - 2 parts of clay, 1 part of mullein and 1-2 handfuls of straw or sawdust;
- cement putty - 1 part of cement, 3 parts of sand, water and a little drying oil are mixed to the state of clay;
- garden var - they are bought in a store or prepared independently from rosin, fat and wax.
Pruning according to age
The need for pruning occurs at any age of the apple tree. In young trees, everything is simple and affordable, but to get a full rich harvest from adult trees you have to tinker.
Pruning young apple trees
Pruning the branches of young apple trees is aimed at forming a crown - at this time the foundation for the future appearance of the garden culture is laid. The first pruning is carried out in the spring of the next year after planting, it does not matter if a tree is planted in spring or autumn. The procedure is carried out to bookmark the shape of the future crown and smooth out the possible disproportionate size of the tree with respect to the root system.
Did you know? The apple tree has long been popular and respected by mankind. The Celtic word avalon, which means paradise, is translated as "country of apples."
An annual seedling is trimmed at a height of about 1 m from the ground. If the branching has already begun, branches growing at an acute angle to the trunk, and too long shoots are removed - they will be unable to withstand the mass of fruits in the future. Branches growing to the sides create a beautiful crown, help the apple tree to give an early harvest and withstand a large number of apples.
Rejuvenation of an old tree
An adult apple tree must be rejuvenated in order to extend its life time and high-quality fruiting. The “weeding” of thickened shoots inside the crown and the timely removal of old dying branches will allow the tree to rejuvenate and delight a good harvest for a few more years. The procedure can be performed annually in the spring, before the tree awakens, or in the fall, when the tree is preparing for hibernation.
Here is a rejuvenation scheme for an old apple tree for beginners:
- old, sick, frozen, broken branches are removed;
- part of the branches for thinning the crown is cut off - curves, disproportionate, sick, growing inward;
- shoots cut at an acute angle to the stem are cut off;
- hemp is removed after trimming on the ring and branches overgrown with each other;
- the places of cuts on branches thicker than 2.5 cm are processed, as described above;
- cut branches outside the garden are burned.
Caring for the apple after pruning
After rejuvenating the apple tree, help is needed to restore strength and prepare for the new fruiting season.
Not all problems are solved by pruning, as cracks in the trunk and the resulting hollows can destroy the apple tree. For treatment, it is necessary to clean the trunk and main branches from lichen, growths, sag and whitewash them to the height where the hand and brush reach, carefully whitening each crack.
Hollows in the trunk and base of the branches are cleaned to healthy wood and covered with a solution consisting of clay, cement and lime in equal parts.
Hares love to enjoy the bark of an apple tree in winter. To discourage them, in the cold season, you can attach a spruce or pine spruce located on the trunk with the needles down.
After trimming, carefully remove all removed branches and foliage and dig the ground around the perimeter of the crown. During digging, the soil should not be "smeared" on the shovel. 2-3 buckets of water are brought into the near-stem circle, and after soaking, the soil around the trunk is mulched with straw, sawdust or agrofabric.
Top dressing in the fall
In preparation for wintering, an adult tree can be fed with mineral fertilizers. For this, a mixture of 25 g of potassium and 35 g of phosphorus per 1 tree at least 4 years old is suitable.Organic dressing is best left in the spring to support growth processes.
Frequent mistakes of beginners during autumn pruning
Autumn processing of fruit trees involves preparing them for wintering. Injury to the tree and severe winter can lead to its death or loss of fruiting, so all operations must be carried out carefully and skillfully.
Common errors when trimming are working with an unadapted or blunted tool, lack of processing of the saw cut, removal of branches too long. Experienced gardeners advise annually removing a small number of branches so that the tree normally experiences this situation.
It is also worth considering the life cycles of a tree - before slowing down the movement of juices, it is not worth injuring the culture. In what month to carry out work, gardeners decide depending on the region, but the apple tree needs a couple of weeks before the cold weather, then to enter the winter normally.
Video: An example of an incorrect pruning of an apple tree
Pruning an apple tree is a very important job, because not only the future harvest, but also the health of a lovingly grown tree depends on the quality of its conduct. That is why before this event it is necessary to study the methodology, stock up with the necessary equipment and peace of mind. Proper care of the tree will provide the gardener and his family with delicious fruits for many years.