Pruning fruit trees has its differences compared to pruning conventional trees in the garden. This is due to the fact that the objective of pruning these trees is to obtain good quality fruit, so it is necessary to prevent small and poor quality fruit from coming out, bearing in mind that if the pruning is excessive, we can harm to tree production. For this reason, we must seek the exact balance between growth and production.
In this EcologíaVerde article, we will talk about how and when to prune fruit trees.
How to prune fruit trees
It is convenient to carry out pruning and guidance of fruit trees since they are young, since doing it when they are older requires more effort, time and tools, in addition to the fact that it is easier for young specimens to adapt to new situations. We must try to achieve a more open shape of the branches, making them develop more towards the width of the tree, and eliminate vertical branches and suckers, since they are the ones that take away the vigor of the tree and make the fruits grow worse. It is also possible to guide those vertical branches to a more horizontal position, slowing their growth rate and encouraging the formation of flower buds and fruits.
When we have already given a suitable structure to the young fruit tree, the pruning can begin. Pruning is done every year and unproductive wood must be removed, keeping it at an adequate size, so that we increase the amount of light that the rest of the branches receive. With annual pruning, we keep the wood productive and fruitful and we get the tree to develop healthy and vigorous. Once the tree begins to bear fruit, its growth will slow down and it will also need pruning. When pruning is carried out, the tree itself adapts to the change and its response depends on the place of the cut. To know how to prune a fruit tree, you have to take into account the type of pruning that is done, since the amount that is thinned and at what point of the branches to cut will depend on it.
- Clarifications: thinning the tree removes some branches and makes the other branches get a remnant of energy and grow more vigorously.
- Headings: Headings consist of leaving more buds on the branches and that these generate a more compact, branched and dense growth.
Usually cut above the budsas we will see below, depending on what type of bud is cut, one effect or another is achieved in the growth of the fruit tree and its production.
The parts of a fruit tree
Understand the parts of a fruit treehelp to do proper pruning. You have to find a balance between fruit and leaves to achieve a good pruning. Approximately forty leaves are enough for quality fruit to develop, which is why we must take into account the number of flower buds when it comes to achieving this balance. Also, knowing these parts and what they are for will help you better know how to care for fruit trees. These are the different parts of these types of trees:
- Terminal yolk: The terminal bud is the fattest final bud of the branch. This bud grows at a faster rate and forms vigorously. When cutting it, the activation of the buds that are behind is caused.
- Foliage buds: Foliage buds are flat, triangular buds on the sides of branches. If we cut just above, these buds will be activated and the branches will produce leaves.
- flower buds: they are fat buds and swell in early spring. These buds will form the flowers.
- Darts: They are small branches with flower buds that develop on the oldest branches. These branches must be preserved, as they guarantee annual fruiting.
- Seasonal scar: it is the ring that forms on the branch and signals the beginning of a period of growth after a period of rest.
When is fruit tree pruning done?
After the period of rest or dormancy, at the end of winter and just before the spring budding period is the right time to prune. In addition, if we do it at this time, the wounds that have been caused by pruning will heal better and faster. We can even delay pruning for up to a week after the tree has flowered, with minimal damage to the plant.
Also, we can carry out a small pruning during the summer and autumn and we will pinch the most vigorous shoots, to favor the appearance of more vigorous lateral branches that have flower buds.
To reduce the vigor of certain fruit trees, when they develop too much, we can do it during the beginning or middle of August. If we want the fruits to be of higher quality, we will eliminate the leaves that shade the fruit. What we must consider is that pruning at the end of autumn or the beginning of winter is the worst, since in this case we will leave wounds on the tree exposed until the end of winter, which can cause fungal attacks and more damage due to the frosts of these times.
After knowing how and when to prune fruit trees, you may be interested in knowing why the fruit falls off the tree.
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