How to Prune Fruit Trees?
Pruning fruit trees can shape a suitable tree shape for the tree body, design an appropriate branch development angle, reduce the number of backbone branches, and then reduce the height of the tree body and the thickness of the leaf curtain, so as to improve the photosynthetic conditions of the plant and increase the effective leaf area. In addition, it can also be combined with the rational use of fertilizer and water to further improve the quality of the leaves of the tree and the efficiency of photosynthesis, and provide convenient conditions for the flowering and fruiting of the plant.
Pruning is used to adjust the growth potential of each plant in the orchard to achieve the ideal balance as much as possible, thereby ensuring that each plant can give full play to its original potential. And it can also promote the stimulation of the growth potential of each branch of each tree, and create a harmonious environment in which the branches are evenly distributed, properly configured, and clearly subordinate, without mutual restriction and influence. If this phenomenon continues for a long time, it will inevitably increase the vigor of the plant, thereby increasing the resistance of the plant and improving the quality and yield of the fruit.
Reasonable pruning of young trees can accelerate the expansion speed of the canopy and increase the number of branches, thereby cultivating a tree structure with high light energy utilization, large load capacity and high quality. Pruning large trees in the fruit-bearing period can not only significantly improve the light conditions and increase the photosynthetic utilization efficiency of the leaves, but also increase the hormone transport speed in the plant and increase the activity of enzymes, especially the activity of catalase, and reduce the harmful effects of excessive hydrogen peroxide produced by metabolism on plants ensure that plant metabolism is normal and not disordered.
The best time to prune trees
For most fruit trees, pruning is usually done in winter and summer a year. If divided by phenological period, it is dormancy and growth periods. The dormancy period means that the fruit tree does not grow new leaves or bear fruit at this time. Pruning during the dormant period is mainly to cut off or shorten some unwanted branches and the remaining diseased branches and dead branches on the tree. At the same time, it is necessary to select the backbone branches, central branches, main branches, auxiliary main branches and other branches for establishment. Pruning during the growth period is mainly to inhibit the growth of new shoots, promote the formation of flower buds, improve the ventilation and light transmission conditions of the tree body, increase the light and utilization efficiency, and produce high-quality fruits.
- Pruning shears. The most commonly used tool in the pruning process is the pruning shears, which are suitable for pruning smaller branches. The cutting edge of pruning shears must be sharp. The hardness of the spring should also be moderate.
- High branch shears. A special tool for detecting twigs in the high crown of the tree. This kind of scissors has a long rod at the lower part and the upper part with scissors. The length of the pole depends on the height of the fruit tree, generally about 3 meters long.
- Hook sickle. The tool used to build chestnut and walnut trees with tall crowns in mountainous areas is hook sickle.
- Handsaw. A tool for sawing thick branches.
- Pruning knife. A tool for flattening the saw cut.
- Angle opener. Use an angle opener to open the angle of the branches.
- High stool. Climbing tool for trimming tall tree crowns
How to prune fruit trees?
- Cut off some too dense, weak, diseased branches so that nutrients can be concentrated on the fruiting branches.
- Many new shoots are sprouting in spring, and some shoots will be elongated. At this time, we have to remove the top new shoots to control the height of the plant, promote the growth of side buds, and increase the fruiting rate.
- The newly planted fruit trees can be pruned. Trim the main pole to a height of 60–75 cm. At most 2 buds are left on each side branch, and the excess is removed to increase the fruit rate.
- By twisting the new long branches 90 degrees to 180 degrees or bending them to promote their budding and speed up the results.
- Pruning regularly in the first three years after planting. Although increased pruning at the beginning will reduce yield, in the long run, it will benefit the health of the fruit tree and increase yield.
- Keep the auxiliary branches that grow about 45 degrees outward. Branches with too large or small angles should be removed.
- The incision should be about 30 degrees, which has little effect and will not affect the health of the entire tree.
When pruning, fruit growers should observe the growth of the tree as a whole, and then proceed from top to bottom and from outside to inside. Do not prune the fruit trees regardless of the basic growth of the fruit trees and the needs of tree shape shaping, which will easily lead to the disorder of the tree in the orchard, and will seriously affect the later field management.
The pruned wound should be smeared with Bordeaux mixture, lime sulfur mixture stock solution or 0.01%-0.1% naphthalene acetic acid in time to avoid wound infection, pathogen invasion, and adverse effects on tree vigor and yield. If this operation is improperly handled or not carried out at all, it is easy to cause xylem rot due to poor wound healing, damage to the transporting tissue, abnormal water and nutrient transport, weak growth of the tree, and even death.
When pruning, fruit growers should first disinfect pruning tools such as branch shears and hand saws; after pruning, the remaining branches should be taken out of the orchard in time, especially the diseased branches, and then buried or incinerated in appropriate locations.
Originally published at https://www.tlw.com.