How to trim tree limbs
How To Trim Tree Branches Yourself (A Step-By-Step Pruning Guide)
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read full disclosure here.
Pruning trees helps to keep them healthy, shapely, safe, and growing their best. Don’t worry, it’s not that hard. In this post, I am going to show you exactly when and how to trim tree branches yourself, step-by-step.
Trimming trees is always a scary topic for newbies (I know it was for me!). In most cases you can easily do it yourself, without worrying about hiring an expensive professional.
There are some proper techniques you need to follow in order to avoid damaging your tree. But I am going to make this easy for you, and walk you through everything you need to know about how to trim a tree yourself, step-by-step.
Table of Contents
Pruning Trees Yourself
Before you get out your tools, it’s a good idea to do a quick online search to look up how to prune the specific type of tree you have to make sure there aren’t any special techniques for it.
Some types (like fruit or flowering trees) prefer to be pruned after they are done blooming, or at other times of the year. Also, most types of evergreens don’t need to be trimmed, except to remove dead or undesirable growth.
Planning to trim my tree in the front yard
Why Prune Trees?
There are several reasons to prune trees, and it’s a good idea to make it a regular habit in order to keep them growing their best.
The first time most people think about trimming trees is usually after a storm causes damage, when the lower branches are getting in the way, or when they are posing a hazard of some kind.
Other reasons could be to encourage flowers and fruit production, to trigger new growth, to help prevent disease by allowing better airflow, or simply to shape the tree to make it look nicer.
Pruning tree branches makes mowing easier
When To Prune Trees
The ideal time of year to prune trees is during dormancy. So, in general, the best time would be sometime during the winter.
Removing branches during dormancy lowers the risk of disease and pest infestations in the open cut wounds. Pruning before spring also helps to promote healthy and vigorous new growth.
In harsh climates like mine here in Minnesota, it’s best to wait until the coldest winter weather has passed.
So for us, the best time is during the late winter or early spring. In milder climates, you can trim a tree anytime during the winter while it is dormant.
Don’t worry, you can still cut off dead or damaged branches at any time of the year. Just try to avoid doing it on wet, rainy days, or when it’s super humid outside.
Tree Trimming Tools
When it comes to trimming trees, using quality tools is super important. You should always make sure your tools are sharp and clean before you make any cuts.
Dull tools will only damage your trees, and dirty blades could spread disease to the open wounds. Here are the tools I use…
- Pole saw attachment for my trimmer
- Hand pruners
- Safety glasses
My tree pruning tools
Proper Tree Pruning Techniques
Improper pruning can lead to disease or pest problems. So before you start, it’s important to understand exactly how to trim a tree.
When branches are removed properly, the wounds will callus over making a nice thick circle all the way around the cut.
It’s important for the callus to form correctly in order to protect the tree from problems down the road, like rot caused by water pooling in the wound.
Healthy callus after correctly trimming a tree branch
Here are tips for how to trim tree branches properly…
1. Locate the branch collar before cutting – Once you decide which limb you’re going to remove, the first thing to do is locate the branch collar.
This is the area where the branch is coming out of the tree. It’s easier to see on some than it is on others – but look for a ridge, a circle, or an area where the bark is thicker.
It’s important to make the cut on the outside of the branch collar, so the wound can heal properly. Also, be sure not to damage the branch collar, or it won’t be able to form a good callus (which can cause rotting later on).
Locate the branch collar before cutting off tree branch
2. Make your cuts at a downward angle – As you trim the tree, it’s important to make your cuts at a downward angle.
This is so that water can’t settle into the wound. If water gets into the wound consistently, it could eventually cause rotting.
Branch collar damaged during improper tree branch removal
3. Never trim branches that are growing upward – When you’re first learning how to trim a tree, a common mistake is to remove the branches that are growing straight up.
But if you prune those, it will leave a wound where water can easily settle, which can cause the tree to rot over time.
Never trim tree branches that are pointing up
4. Don’t prune a branch too long – You should also take care that you’re not leaving too long of a stub when removing the branches.
Leaving too long of a stub will also make it difficult for the tree to form a proper callus around the wound.
Related Post: How To Cut Grass Like A Pro Using Lawn Mowing Patterns & Techniques
Unhealthy callus after improper tree branch removal
How To Trim A Tree Step-By-Step
Now that you know the proper techniques for how to trim a tree, let’s talk about the steps to follow while pruning them.
But a word of caution before getting started. Never, never try pruning your own trees if they are anywhere near power lines. It’s best to just let the pros handle that!
Here’s a quick list of the steps, and then the more detailed steps are below.
- Trim off any suckers growing at the base of the trunk
- Remove all the dead or dying branches
- Prune out unwanted or hazardous branches
- Remove any damaged or weak branches
- Trim out overlapping branches that rub together
Step 1: Pruning suckers – Suckers are weak, weedy looking growth that forms at the base of the trunk.
These suckers will never become desirable branches, and only steal energy from the tree. So, be sure to get rid of any suckers as you see them forming.
Step 2: Remove dead or dying branches – Cutting off the dead branches is the best place to start, and will make the rest of the steps easier too.
Once you have removed all of the dead branches, it’s easier to see what you’re working with, and spot the ones that need to be pruned next.
Removing tree branches that are dead or damaged
Step 3: Prune out unwanted or hazardous branches – Branches that are hanging low, touching your house, or are causing some kind of a safety hazard can be trimmed next.
Most of the time the goal here is just to raise the height of the canopy, or get rid of an obstruction. This can usually be done by trimming small branches, rather than removing an entire limb.
Step 4: Remove damaged and weak branches – Tree branches that have been damaged in a storm, or are otherwise broken or weakened should be cut off even if they are still alive.
They are an invitation for pests and disease, could become hazardous, and can also be a place where water settles.
Trim tree branches that are hanging down
Step 5: Trim out crossing branches – Now that you’ve got most of the tree cleaned up, it’ll be easy to spot branches that are overlapping and rubbing against each other. When they rub together, they can damage each other over time.
Remove both branches if they are both damaged. Otherwise either cut off the damaged one, or the smallest of the two.
More Tree Trimming Advice & Pruning Tips
- As you’re just learning how to a trim tree yourself, the best thing to do is to start small, and work your way into it slowly. Don’t overdo it! Start with one or two of the steps above, and then wait until next year for the rest.
- Be careful when removing large limbs. This can be risky to the health of a tree. It’s best to leave them unless there’s a good reason to get rid of them, like if they are dead, damaged, diseased, or causing some kind of hazard.
- As you’re pruning, remember to take a step back now and then to look at the tree from all angles, and check the shape. It’s easy to get carried away with cutting branches, only to realize the tree looks lopsided after you step out from underneath it.
- Never trim off more that 1/4 of the living tree branches at one time. If you need to remove more than that, do some of it this year, and then wait to do the rest over the next few years.
Below I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about trimming trees. If you can’t find your answer here, then ask it in the comments below.
Can you kill a tree by cutting branches?
Yes, you can kill a tree by over pruning it. It’s best to start small, and only remove a few branches at a time. Then every year, continue working on it until you reach the desired shape.
Also, don’t cut off any large limbs unless they are dead or severely damaged. Cutting off large limbs could end up killing the tree.
Does pruning hurt trees?
If done properly, pruning does not hurt the tree, it’s actually quite beneficial. But, if you’ve never done it before, it’s best to start small, and work your way into it. You don’t want to go overboard, and cut off too many branches.
If you’re nervous that you’ll overdo it, just start by getting rid of any dead or damaged branches this year. Then wait until next year to remove any others that need to be trimmed.
Now that you understand how to trim tree branches yourself, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing it on a regular basis. That way, your trees will be healthy, safe, and looking their best!
More Garden Pruning Guides
- Pruning Plants: The Complete Step-By-Step Guide
- Pruning Russian Sage: Step-By-Step Instructions
- How To Prune & Trim Roses: A Step-By-Step Guide
Share your tips for how to trim trees in the comments section below!
A Complete Guide to Pruning and Trimming Trees
by Chris Lambton
As leaves fall from the trees each autumn, branches formerly covered in a canopy of dense foliage come out of hiding. Although many gardeners would rather never deal with the falling mess of leaves, I relish this time as an opportunity to inspect each tree canopy. It's now that I carefully make note of any branches I may need to remove from my trees. Taking advantage of these dormant months gives me time to develop a plan for pruning and trimming trees in my landscaping.
In this article, you'll learn:
- Why is it Important to Prune Trees?
- Proper Way to Prune a Tree Limb >
- Tree Pruning Tips >
- Pruning Thick Tree Branches >
- Best Tools for Pruning Trees >
Why is it Important to Prune Trees?
Tree limbs are pruned for multiple reasons, all of which result in a better looking and better performing tree. Although trees do grow quite naturally without pruning, this routine landscape maintenance allows your trees to reach their full potential and live a long life. But before you can learn how to trim a tree properly, you need to know why you should trim a tree.
Pruning for healthy trees
Pruning for plant health focuses on removing dead, dying and diseased branches, branches that rub together, and any branch stubs so the entire tree continues to grow in a healthy way. Opening up the canopy to let light and air filter throughout the entire tree allows for increased foliage while decreasing the risk of disease.
At the ground level, suckers and water sprouts weaken wood and steal nutrients from the main tree. By helping a tree establish one main tree and a dominant leader, you create a strong tree that's ultimately able to withstand winter storms and high winds.
Landscape maintenance and appearance pruning combine to create the ideal plant you envision. By pruning and trimming trees in specific ways, you can encourage fruiting and flowering, shape plants into specific forms and control plant size.
Pruning for safer spaces
While well-pruned trees are healthier, they are also stronger. Safety concerns are not often considered, but they're definitely a good reason to prune your trees. Trimming the trees in your yard creates a safe environment for your family and friends.
Dead branches, diseased trees and weak limbs are all a danger to people and property. When pruning trees, take a moment to assess if tree branches are becoming too close to safety lights, electrical lines or are blocking traffic views.
Depending on where you live, it is also important to prune trees to thin out branches and dead limbs before hurricane seasons. Too much foliage can result in trees being top heavy and falling over easier in storms while falling branches may damage a house or plants below.
Properly pruning a tree limb
When thinning, reducing and shaping branches and limbs small enough to cut with hand tools, keep in mind that your cuts are going to encourage new growth. With that in mind, cut limbs ¼ inch above a bud that faces the outside of the plant. This will be the direction of the new growth. Keep your cuts at a 45-degree angle to prevent water damage and disease.
3-cut pruning for thick tree limbs
Properly pruned tree branches form a callus where the removed branch once was. This callus is essential to the health of the tree. Most tree branches that are cut back to the trunk or a main branch will require three cuts to prevent damage to the bark. The first two cuts remove the weight from the tree branch, and the final cut is designed for the best callus growth.
The first cut: Underside of branch.
Travel approximately 18 inches up the underside of the branch you are removing. This is the perfect location for your first cut. Cut up about halfway through the branch.
The second cut: Topside of branch.
Move to the top side of the branch. Choose a location an inch further out from your first cut. Carefully cut down until the branch breaks free.
The third cut: Outside of the collar.
Find the branch collar on your trunk. This is the stem tissue around the base of the branch. With most trees, you'll see a slight swelling and rougher bark in this area. You want to make your final cut just to the outside of this collar, but without leaving a stub. Make a complete cut with a 45-degree angle kicking out from the base of the tree. This prevents water damage and encourages the quick formation of the callus.
Tree Pruning Tips
Pruning trees may seem like a large project—and it can be. I recommend leaving large, established shade trees to qualified arborists and tree care professionals. They have the appropriate equipment and training to remove large branches safely. Ornamental and fruit trees are the perfect place to start learning how to prune a tree. Most are easily accessible and require simple tools.
Start Pruning Trees Early On
A proactive homeowner begins pruning as soon as a tree is planted. Diseased, dead and broken branches should be removed right away. Pruning for shape isn't necessary until the first winter after planting. Regular pruning throughout the life of a tree reduces the amount of work necessary and the stress on the tree. Pruning a tree a little each year creates a strong and beautiful tree from the very beginning.
When is the Best Time of Year to Prune Trees?
There is never a bad time to remove dead, damaged or diseased branches. But most trees benefit from pruning in mid to late winter. Pruning during dormancy encourages new growth as soon as the weather begins to warm. The lack of leaves after autumn allows you to easily identify branches and limbs requiring removal.
Be aware that some trees can bleed sap when pruned during late winter. For example, pruning maple trees in winter is ideal but can result in bleeding. Don't worry – the sap will stop flowing as soon as the tree begins to put on leaves. It isn't dangerous and it won't harm your tree.
Although I like to make my pruning plan in the fall, I always wait a few months before I start to actually prune. Pruning trees in fall can introduce disease. In the event of a warm fall, it could even encourage new growth which will be damaged when temperatures drop.
Pruning trees in summer isn't a popular option, but sometimes can be beneficial if performed with caution. Experienced gardeners use summer pruning to direct growth by slowing down the development of a tree or branch. The best timing for this form of pruning is just after the seasonal growth has reached its peak. By removing the total leaf surface of the plant, you reduce the amount of nutrients sent to the roots and the overall growth of the tree.
Now that we've established when the best time of the year is to prune trees, let's talk about flowering trees. They don't exactly follow the rules. Flowering trees fall into two categories: early bloomers and late bloomers.
Early Blooming Trees
Early blooming trees set buds on last year's growth. For example, a tree blooming early in 2018 is blooming on growth from 2017. If you prune over the winter, your tree won't bloom. Instead, prune right after the tree finishes blooming. Early blooming trees include:
- Ornamental Cherry
- Flowering Plum
Late Blooming Trees
Trees that bloom in late spring to early summer set buds on this year's new growth. For example, a tree blooming in June of this year is blooming on growth from this same year. These trees should be pruned in early spring for the best bloom:
- American smoke tree
- Japanese tree lilac
Three Pruning Methods for Trees
There are many ways to improve both the health and the shape of a tree. The goal of each is to create a tree with good light and air circulation, attractive qualities and strength. The four most popular tree pruning methods for general pruning are crown thinning, crown raising, crown reduction and crown cleaning. You may notice that each pruning method involves the crown of the tree. That's because the crown of the tree is essential for producing leaves for photosynthesis. Without a strong and healthy crown, the rest of the tree will weaken over time.
Thinning the crown involves trimming a tree to remove specific live branches to reduce the overall density of a tree. Thinning is the most common pruning performed on mature trees. It increases sunlight penetration and air circulation. It can also reduce stress on selected limbs from gravity, wind, ice or snow.
Because the goal is not to change the size or shape of the tree, thinning should be consistent throughout the tree. You should only remove 10 to 20 percent of the tree branches from the edge of the canopy. Large trees benefit from removing end portions of limbs between 1 to 4 inches in diameter. Small ornamental landscape trees and fruit trees can be thinned by removing smaller limbs between ¼ to ½ inch thick. You should trim trees for crown thinning so that the tree still looks completely unpruned.
Crown raising lifts the bottom edge of tree limbs up to clear for traffic, buildings or a view. This tree pruning method should be performed gradually over a long period of time. Removing too many lower branches all at once can result in a weak tree. Remove only a few limbs less than 4 inches in diameter when pruning every year.
I like to take a few steps back periodically and look at the overall balance of the tree. The live crown on deciduous trees should make up 60 percent of the tree. If the trunk begins to go over 40 percent, the tree could become weakened. Most conifers can be balanced at a 50 percent crown and 50 percent trunk ratio and still remain strong and healthy.
Crown reduction is a tree pruning method generally used on older, more mature trees. It can help strengthen the tree and encourage new growth. Crown reduction removes a tree branch back to a growing lateral branch. When the growing season begins in the spring, this lateral branch will become part of the new tree crown.
I consider this method a gentler alternative to tree topping. There are smaller cuts, less of the crown is removed and plenty of old growth remains for structure. While crown thinning is performed to reduce limbs and foliage, the goal of crown reduction is to remove old growth while encouraging new.
Crown cleaning is the removal of dead, diseased and broken branches when trimming a tree. It can be performed at any time and should be included as a part of crown thinning, raising and reduction. Cleaning the tree crown strengthens the overall tree and prevents future damage to both the tree and surrounding property while increasing the overall safety of your landscaping.
Best Fiskars Tools for Pruning Trees
Now that you know how to prune trees, let's look at how to make it as easy as possible. Sharp, quality tree trimming tools can turn a dreaded chore into a quick task. I always keep these tools handy for all my garden pruning and trimming needs:
Fiskars pruners come with ergonomic handles and patented gear technology that gives up to 3X more power for cutting stems and branches up to ¾" thick.
Fiskars loppers provide reach and optimized power to cut through the middle branches up to 2" in diameter, where you need the most leverage.
Fiskars saws are ideal for removing large limbs and branches with clean, quick cuts. A unique tooth design cuts through wood quickly and smoothly.
Extendable pruners and saws
With extendable reach for branches up to 16 feet away, Fiskars extendable tools have a special low-friction coating for cutting branches as thick as 1 1/4 inch.
How to prune fruit trees: tips for beginners
Pruning fruit trees and shrubs is one of the most important annual operations, without which no plant can grow normally, develop and give full yields.
It is necessary to prune fruit trees in order to correctly form their crown, to prevent its thickening, which interferes with the access of light and oxygen to the branches and leads to the emergence of diseases and pests.
Without pruning, the yield of both stone and pome plants drops sharply, the fruits become small and tasteless.
There are different types of pruning, some of them are too difficult for a beginner gardener, and not always necessary. In this article, we will show you how to prune fruit trees with the least amount of effort and using the simplest tool that everyone has.
We have already talked about how to prune fruit trees in our articles: How to care for cherries, How to care for pears, Frost-resistant cherries, How to grow plums.
HOW TO CUT FRUIT TREES AFTER PLANTING
Pruning of young plantings begins at the age of three. It is necessary for a tree to form a crown correctly and quickly. Such a formation has been carried out for several years. And here it is important not to make mistakes, since an incorrectly formed crown will be very difficult to correct in the future.
The main thing is to correctly create the frame of the future tree. As a rule, two types of pruning are used in amateur gardens: sparsely-tiered and non-tiered. The first is the simplest and most accessible for any novice gardener. It is equally good for both stone fruit and pome crops.
In the first two years, fruit trees mainly grow the root system, and the growth of the aerial part is rather small. In the third year, the intensive growth of the tree itself begins, and if you do not start shaping it, then it will turn into a long thick “whip” with weak side branches.
Pruning of young fruit trees starts from the central conductor. It is shortened to a height of 75 cm, leaving up to 10 buds on it, from which new shoots and side branches will form. Thus, the first tier is laid.
The following spring, damaged and weak branches are removed, leaving the 3 strongest. This will be the second tier. In subsequent years, the third, fourth and fifth tiers are formed in the same way.
When the tree reaches a height of four meters, cut the center conductor above the top branch to stop the growth of the tree, otherwise it will be quite difficult to care for it. Your crown has been formed.
HOW TO TRIM Mature FRUIT TREES
Annual pruning of fruit trees promotes the formation of new shoots, increases the number of flower buds, relieves the crown of the tree from thickening, improves the taste of the fruit, increases yield, limits the growth of the tree and facilitates its care.
This operation is carried out in the spring - at the end of March - beginning of April, before the start of bud break.
Pruning mature plants differs significantly from shaping a young tree. As a rule, it is limited to two operations: shortening and thinning.
Shorten branches to encourage shoots and buds to grow. A cut on annual branches must be made above the bud, and on a long-term one - above one of the branches.
This operation promotes the rapid growth of shoots below the cut. These young shoots will quickly begin to grow fruit twigs.
Thinning is necessary to improve access to sunlight and air circulation inside the canopy. This contributes to the formation of large, even fruits and prevents the appearance of diseases and pests.
During thinning, cut out all branches growing inside the crown or at an acute angle to the trunk. The latter can cause winter breaks in the tree.
Before pruning, all broken, withered and weak branches are removed, and then they begin the main work.
You can prolong the life of old trees with rejuvenating pruning. It is made for trees older than 18 years. The easiest way to rejuvenate is to shorten all branches by 2/3 of the length.
FRUIT TREE PUTTER
For pruning, you will need a short-handled pruner, a long-handled treetop pruner and a sickle-shaped garden saw, as well as a garden pitcher for covering tree wounds.
All garden tools must be sharpened and disinfected immediately before starting work. Immediately after cutting off the branches, it is necessary to cover the cut with garden pitch.
Pome crops are pruned first, and then stone fruits.
Do not delay pruning, because after the start of sap flow, it is no longer possible to prun fruit trees. Stone fruit crops can be especially affected by this.
Pruning of fruit shrubs begins at the end of April.
when possible, how to do it right, why prune fruit trees
- Main page
- garden care
- Journal of Horticulture
- When to prune fruit trees
Pruning fruit trees is one of the most important gardening activities. For its correct implementation, you must adhere to certain rules. It is important, for example, to clearly understand how to prune branches and whether pruning should be done in summer and autumn. The procedure will pay off if it is performed regularly at the most appropriate time. When to prune trees in the garden, how to do it correctly, why do you need pruning of fruit plants?
Why are trees pruned in the garden?
What is the purpose of pruning trees in the garden? This is necessary in order to:
- make harvesting easier;
- create favorable conditions for flowering and fruiting. Pruning promotes the emergence of new young stems and, as a result, an increase in yield;
- allow more sunlight and air to enter the canopy: a small bird should be able to fly through the center of the tree. Improved air movement prevents pests and diseases, and more light contributes to uniform ripening;
- remove dead and diseased branches and stems, thereby rejuvenating trees.
- give the plant the desired shape.
Spring pruning of fruit crops is considered the most expedient and useful for the garden. It is important not to overdo it, because excessive zeal can lead to the fact that the tree will weaken or even die, not to mention a decrease in yield. It should be remembered, for example, that 30-40 leaves of an apple tree provide the conditions for the ripening of just one fruit.
Terms of procedure . Spring pruning will benefit the tree if done at the optimum time. When is the best time to start this process? If you start it too early, when temperatures are still low, the fruit crop may suffer from frost. If, however, tighten with pruning before the start of sap flow, then after it is carried out, the places of cuts will “heal” for a long time. The most suitable weather for pruning trees in the garden is clear, slightly frosty, with a temperature not lower than -5 ° C. For central Russia, this is usually the period from mid-March to mid-April.
How to prepare inventory . In addition to meeting the deadlines, there are other important nuances that determine how productive the spring pruning of young and fairly old trees in the garden will be. To carry out the procedure, you must first have the appropriate inventory, which, among other things, must be properly prepared. The tools you plan to use for pruning should be sharpened and sanitized. This is done in order not to cause unnecessary injuries and damage to the trees, as well as not to infect fruit crops. Sharpening the tool will be better if, before performing it, lower the cutting parts for some time in a salt solution (1 tablespoon per 1 glass of water).
Special considerations for pruning young plants . Pruning of young trees should be carried out carefully, avoiding excessive removal of branches and shoots. If the plant is still infertile, it is enough to rid it of diseased, damaged, thickening crown or hindering the growth of skeletal branches of shoots, as well as to shorten annual growths. If you need to remove the shoot completely, it is cut into a ring, leaving no stumps. In order not to damage the bark, when cutting a thick branch, first make a notch from the underside and then saw it off completely with a hacksaw from above. Remove excess branches carefully so as not to damage the kidneys with a cutting tool. When shortening to a kidney, the secateurs are started from the side of the neighboring branch, placing it at an angle of 45 ° in the direction from the base to the top of the shoot. The cutting blade should be 1–2 mm below the base of the kidney, the second blade 1–2 mm higher.
Branches to be removed
Branches to be removed from the fruit tree:
- dead, diseased and broken. Shoots affected by pests or diseases are best removed immediately, along with areas where fungi have appeared, such as, for example, a tinder fungus. Old fractures need to be treated. To do this, remove the broken branch by pruning for translation, level the cut surface and “apply a bandage” from garden pitch or other compositions;
- the weakest of the two growing side by side and moving in the same direction. If the branches are the same and there is a need to keep both, they are redirected by breeding in different directions;
- representing the root branch, as well as shoots growing below the grafting site. The root branch must be removed before the tree becomes multi-stemmed;
- intersecting, rubbing against each other, growing inside the crown;
- which may pose a threat to property and human health.
Methods for pruning fruit trees
Two main methods are used for pruning fruit trees: pruning (shortening) and cutting (removing). When pruning, it should be borne in mind that the stronger the shortening, the more branching will be next year. If the tree tends to branch heavily, it is better to cut the branches entirely. If a short pruning is performed (about a third of the length of the branch), few shoots will appear at the top. With strong pruning (when a third of the branch remains), more powerful shoots will grow, which will diverge in different directions. Increments up to 40 cm long are usually not shortened. But if you want to activate growth, make a fairly strong pruning. Some fruit crops are characterized by low bud awakening. That is, annual growths are long, but branching occurs only in the upper part. In this case, a strong shortening stimulates branching and makes the crown more compact.
Types of pruning
Pruning of fruit trees can be:
- sanitary, when cutting (removal) of branches affected by pests and diseases;
- supporting or regulating, performed to limit the size of the plant (when individual branches are shortened or cut). This procedure allows you to prevent thickening of the crown, maintain the ability of the culture to regularly bear fruit, thin out flowers and ovaries;
- forming. This is, in fact, the creation of decorative forms from trees on dwarf rootstocks using a frame and by repeated pruning;
- anti-aging, which allows you to restore the ability to grow by significantly shortening the branches in areas with the optimal length of annual growth;
- restorative, in the form of rejuvenation of old plants, restoring the ability to bear fruit, reducing the height of a tree, forming a crown or part of it from tops.
Is pruning done in summer and autumn
Beginning gardeners often have questions: Should garden trees be pruned in summer and autumn? Such pruning is quite acceptable, it all depends on the goals pursued. Often, gardeners prune plants during these seasons.
Summer . With the onset of the summer months, the growth of garden trees slows down. The supply of nutrients is used up and the plant begins to restore them through photosynthesis. Part of the generated energy is used to feed the summer growth, part goes into the roots to form a reserve for the next year. The lack of energy reserves at this time of the year can be used, for example, to reduce the size of an oversized tree. That is, if you carried out the main pruning in the spring, then in the summer you can cut the tips of young growths if you need to limit their growth. But spring is more suitable for removing large branches.
Autumn . In order not to harm the trees with autumn pruning, it should be remembered that whenever you cut a branch, for example, apple or pear trees, you leave a wound on the body of the plant. This is not a problem during the growing season, i.e. in the spring: after a few days, the wound will be covered with a layer of protective cells. In autumn, growth slows down and healing may not occur. That. autumn is not the best time for cutting branches on fruit crops, but this is practiced in the southern regions. Autumn pruning, which usually occurs after the end of leaf fall, is shaping, rejuvenating or restorative.
What a gardener will need for work
Pruning should be done in comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement and does not cling to branches. It is also better to wear special shoes with non-slip soles, a hat with a visor, gardening gloves and goggles. To carry out the work, a stepladder or other support may be required. Getting started, you need to make sure that the ladder is level and stable. It is better if you have an assistant when cutting trees at a height.
Thus, pruning garden trees helps not only form the crown of plants, but also stimulate fruiting.