Fruit tree cut at the apple tree - Instructions - When to cut?

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Fruit tree cut at the apple tree - Instructions - When to cut?: shoots

The pruning is an indispensable part of the garden care, because it provides vitality and good growth he apple trees and a profitable harvest. Although this care measure is offered by professional professionals, hobby gardeners can also do the pruning themselves. Essential here is only the necessary know-how and the appropriate equipment. In this article you will learn how and when to cut your apple tree and which cutting tool is best for it.

The optimal time

Apple trees are usually cut in the winter months, but the exact time can not be determined. For when exactly the cut takes place, depends on different factors: Firstly, the vigor of woody plants plays a role, because the stronger the apple tree grows, the later it is cut. Furthermore, of course, the weather and the general condition as well as the desired cutting technique are other factors that influence the timing of the pruning. The apple trees can be cut in the winter, but also in summer or autumn.

winter pruning

The cold season, more specifically from November to March, is ideal for cutting the apple tree. Because at this time the buds are not expelled yet and therefore the tree juice circulation is low. The advantage here is that the cuts can heal faster and better. In addition, the tree bears no foliage in winter, which can easily detect malformations of the treetop and then fix it. If the tree is cut in autumn, the following should be noted:
  • the temperatures must not fall below -5 degrees
  • otherwise the wood can become brittle
  • Slightly cut at an angle, especially with thick branches
  • because exactly horizontal cuts promote fungi and diseases

summer pruning

In the period from March to September, no radical cuts on woody plants may be made due to bird protection. However, it is possible to remove certain unwanted plant parts from the treetop. These include, for example, the water guns, which bear no fruit and rob the apple tree valuable energy. In addition, if a tree bears an enormous amount of fruit, some of them can be removed. If the apple tree is cut in summer, the following should be noted:
  • do not cut during a heatwave
  • also not with great dryness
  • because through the many interfaces of the tree could dry out
  • Therefore, pour extensively, especially after cutting

autumn section

Apple blossom - Mmalus

The fall invites not only to harvest the tasty fruits of the apple tree, but then directly subject this to the pruning. First, the underdeveloped and dead fruits are removed. Because the so-called fruit mummies offer mushrooms and other pathogens as an ideal breeding ground. In autumn, the following unwanted plant parts of the apple tree can also be removed:
  • dead and sick branches
  • Bent and dry shoots
  • too dense branches
  • water shoots

The different cutting techniques

The cutting of the apple trees is a regular and essential care measure, which takes place already in the first year of planting. Cutting can directly influence different factors, such as growth and growth habit. Therefore, there are also different cutting techniques, which have correspondingly different goals and effects.

The planting

Young apple trees benefit especially from the so-called planting. This takes place right after the planting and ensures on the one hand for a good growth and on the other hand it promotes the formation of a regular treetop. The aim of the planting is that a strong Leittrieb in the middle forms and about three to four side shoots act as Leitäste, which together form the framework. These are ideally about 60 degrees from the center drive and have outward shoot tips. When planting the following should be considered:
  • shorten all side shoots slightly
  • shorten the center drive a bit
  • Shortening these branches is also called "juice weighing"
  • As a result, they branch out better and are evenly supplied with nutrients
  • the framework should be pyramidal
  • and become narrower towards the top
  • This gives all shoots enough light
  • Remove competitive drives
  • and generally remove all vertically growing shoots
Tip: Steep up-growing branches can be brought into a horizontal form by bending down and tying them down. For this purpose, in particular a soft and elastic material, such as a coconut knit is suitable.

The construction section

Cut apple tree

In the first autumn after planting, the apple tree should be subjected to the so-called structural cut, which is also called educational cut. At this time, the first annual shoots have already developed, which, however, still bear no fruit. Because the tasty apples are formed only on the two-year impulses. Nevertheless, the young tree should be subjected to this cut, because the structural section provides for a good branching and also promotes the spindle-shaped growth of the treetop. The construction section is as follows:
  • remove all steeply growing side shoots
  • shorten long, unbranched shoots
  • remove too much downwards hanging shoots
  • cut off growing shoots
  • Shorten scaffold drives by about one third
  • this is based on new growth
  • Side scaffold drives should be cut to the same height
  • Shorten the main drive as well
Tip: If one framework drive is significantly weaker than the others, it is advisable that all shoots be cut in half.

preservation section

About five to seven years after planting, the treetop of the apple tree is built. Now it is important to preserve the fertility and vitality of the tree. This works best if the apple tree is regularly (at best annually) subjected to a maintenance cut. This care measure also has other advantages: By lightening a better light supply is ensured, so that the leaves dry faster after the rain and the fruit ripen better. In addition, this section promotes a more stable carrying capacity of the branches, which is particularly advantageous for many and heavy fruits. Finally, the labor of the harvest is made easier, because the regular maintenance cut makes the tree crown much more accessible. The conservation section includes the following steps:
  • cut off steeply growing shoots
  • otherwise they would condense too much the treetop
  • Remove old fruit wood (usually hangs down heavily)
  • because these hardly bear good quality fruits
  • Remove dead wood
  • Cut off water shots at the Astring
  • these bear no fruit and rob the tree of strength
  • Scaffolding branches are not shortened, but the tips are "slimmed down"
  • remove those shoots that grow too close to the tips of the shoots
Tip: If branches and shoots are only shortened, they are cut off just above the branch. As a result, the crown grows wider and is accordingly more air and translucent.

rejuvenation pruning

Cut apple tree

Very old or old trees can be restored with a rejuvenation cut. However, this is not a cut that should be done on a regular basis, but rather a rescue operation. Special expertise is required for this, which is why the rejuvenation cut is best done by experts. Because this cut is quite radical and it can happen that especially very old trees lose about a third of their crown. In addition, this is an enormous burden on the tree, which is why it is even advisable in some cases to divide the Rejuvenation cut to two years. The purpose of the rejuvenation cut is to stimulate the formation of new formation and includes, among other things, the following work steps:
  • Create scaffolding again
  • if the old one no longer or only barely recognizes
  • remove all competition drives
  • leave about four shoots
  • completely remove the steeply growing shoots
  • Slimming of the frame drive tips
  • remove strong fruit shoots
  • divert too long fruit shoots
  • cut off the shoots growing inwards
  • cut off steeply growing shoots
Tip: After the rejuvenation cut, the tree attempts to restore balance between the treetop and the roots. That's why he creates numerous young shoots at the interfaces, of which at least half should be removed each year.

The equipment

Depending on which work is done, other cutting tool is required. In principle, a stable ladder, as well as a sharp and clean cutting tool are necessary for the pruning. For thicker branches, saws have proven themselves, some of which are also equipped with a cable or a telescopic pole. For thinner branches, an anvil scissors or a bypass scissors are suitable. It is often said that a wound closure agent should be used especially for the cuts of thick branches. Opinions differ, however, especially since it has now been found that a wound closure agent can even impair wound healing negatively. If, nevertheless, a wound closure agent is used, the procedure should be as follows:
  • Never brush the entire incision with it
  • but only the edge of the wound
  • before smoothing the wound edge with a sharp cutting tool
The regular cut of the apple trees is an essential care measure, which promotes both the growth and the vitality of the tree.In general, the trees are cut in winter, but in some cases, such as after planting, cutting in autumn or summer is conceivable.

Video Board: How to Prune an Apple Tree.

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