Pruning: The most important technical terms


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If specialists are among themselves, over the decades a jargon often develops with special words that are hardly comprehensible to laymen. Gardeners are no exception. Especially with the topic woodcutting there are some technical terms that can hardly be explained graphically without fitting pictures. In the following sections, we will mention the most common terms to show you which editing technique is behind it.

rejuvenation pruning

Flowering shrubs that have been cut incorrectly or not at all over the years, become indelible over time, such as Deutz, forsythia, weigela and pipe shrub. A makeover gives the plants their vitality and flowering pleasure back. To do this, remove the thick, overgrown branches at the base and shorten the remaining younger shoots by about a third. If there are hardly any flowering branches, the cut takes place in winter, otherwise better after the pile. In the following years, the shrub is gradually rebuilt and reduces the number of new shoots so that the shrub is not too dense.

Rejuvenation cut on a Deutzie

rejuvenation pruning

Some shrubs become so unsightly with lack of care over time that they can only be saved by a stronger pruning, the so-called rejuvenation cut. Shorten all main shoots to 30 to 40 centimeters in autumn or late winter

Put on the stick

This method is a rejuvenation cut of the radical kind. The shrubs are not as generous as the rejuvenation cut, but completely cut down, put on the stick. The measure is particularly suitable for woody plants with high ripeness, such as hazelnut and willow, which can even be cut annually. For example, you can win beautiful braiding material. In the red-barked Siberian dogwood, this cut ensures a particularly well-colored new shoot.

Pruning: Put on the stick

Put willow on the stick

For shrubs that have been cut incorrectly for years or are severely frosted, a radical rejuvenation helps: you put them on the stick. Cut off all the crown branches 20 to 30 centimeters above the ground and rebuild the crown in the following years. But beware: only well-grown, regenerative trees can cope with this radical cure

Cut to Astring

The bead-like thickening, which can be seen at the branch of the branch, is called Astring. This contains a so-called dividing tissue (cambium), which closes the wound from outside to inside with newly formed bark. Place the branch saw directly on the Astring and guide the cut slightly diagonally away from the trunk. In this way, the wound area remains as small as possible and the Astring is not injured. Because of their heavy weight you should saw off large branches in stages, so that the bark on the trunk does not accidentally tear. Finally, smooth the edge of the wound, which is slightly frayed by sawing, with a sharp knife. Since smooth edges form new bark faster, this measure promotes wound healing.

Cut to Astring

clean cut astring

If you want to remove a disturbing shoot completely, you cut it off directly on the Astring without hurting it (left). The remaining small bead is clearly visible in this clean cut (right)

Remove secondary crowns

In fruit trees, perennial water travelers can develop into secondary crowns due to their towering growth. They form side branches and later even fruit wood. So they dispute the main crown nutrients, water and sunlight, resulting in smaller fruits. Therefore, such competitive drives must be removed early. With this apple tree the optimal time was missed. Above a branch growing outwards, the stately crown is sawn off to bring more light and air into the branches again.

Remove the crown on the apple tree

Removed Nebenkrone on apple tree

Secondary crowns interfere with the uniform supply of nutrients and water to the main crown and make it very dense. Therefore you should cut them out as early as possible

Derive branches

As it drains away, an unfavorably growing branch is cut back to an underlying, better-positioned branching shoot - a measure commonly used in orchards. In this case the scaffolding boom grows too steep. It is derived from the flatter branch, as it forms more fruit wood. At the same time you open the crown with it, so it gets more light inside. Unlike classic shortening, there is no strong shootout during drainage because the new branch can absorb the increased juice pressure of the plant.

Derive branch

Derive branch

Deriving is the cutting off of a shoot tip directly above a side shoot. In this case, it is achieved that the leader does not rise too steep at the end, but grows flat over the down-facing side shoot

Eliminate water guns

Upright long shoots, the so-called water shoots, show up especially after heavy cuts. For fruit trees, you should therefore remove the unwanted water rice, as they are called, regularly. It is more effective than cutting off in winter, if one pulls out the young, still weakly ligned competition drives in the early summer. Then the wounds heal well and not so many new water shoots are formed, because the Astring is also removed.

Remove water shoots from the apple tree

In fruit tree crowns water shoots are undesirable because they interfere with the crown structure and do not form fruit buds

Rejuvenate fruit wood

The best fruits develop apple and pear trees on two-year flowering shoots. From this grows new fruit wood, which ramifies more and more over the years. In such shoots, which are often recognizable by the drooping growth, continue to produce fruit, but not in the desired quality. Therefore, you should remove the outdated fruit wood and derive it to a younger, vital side shoot.

Rejuvenate fruit wood on apple tree

Outdated fruit branches often hang down heavily. For rejuvenation you cut off the entire branch behind a younger, vital side shoot

Shorten to outer eye

In contrast to lightening, in which whole shoots are removed at the base, the branch is cut off at the classical shortening above a bud - about to stimulate the formation of side shoots. These buds are also called eyes. When cutting, place the scissors at a slight angle and a few millimeters above the outer eye. The bud or the eye should point outwards, because the newly developing side shoot should grow in this direction so that it does not unnecessarily compact the crown of the fruit tree or ornamental shrub. If cut too close, the bud dries up. If a long pin stops, it dies and it can lead to fungal attack.

Cut on outside eye

on outside eye cut side shoot

If you want to shorten a shoot, for example, to encourage the formation of side branches, so you put the cut always a few millimeters above an eye (left). The shortened shoot ends on an outer eye (right) and the new drive extension does not grow steeply upwards or into the interior of the crown

Tip: Visit pruning courses

Many community colleges and also allotment clubs offer courses for hobby gardeners in the winter around the pruning. The money invested is well spent, because an expert on site can always explain the technology more practically and graphically than the best textbook. Although fruit trees that have been expertly cut do not produce higher yields, the quality of the harvested fruits is usually much better. Ornamental shrubs thank a skilful cut with a harmonious crown structure and a particularly lush flowering.

Video Board: Neville Goddard: The Pruning Shears of Revision Read by Josiah Brandt.

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