The Content Of The Article:
Apple trees (Malus domestica) need regular care throughout their long lives, without which they would not be able to produce fruit in abundance and in good quality for decades. One of the most important measures is the fruit tree cut. It is carried out to create the conditions for a long life of the tree in good health.
Summary of the fruit tree cut
- Use sharp tool
- Cut surfaces with tree wax closing
- Cut takes place from November to March
- Approach of the cut over an outward-facing eye
- Use caution when using ladders
- Prune young trees vigorously, regulate adult trees only moderately
Apple trees that grow in the home garden are usually cut in the absence of vegetation, ie from November to March. During this time, the juice flow of the trees rests, so that the plants do not lose strength through the cut. In commercial horticulture, which aims at high yields, cuts are also made during the growing season. However, these measures can be safely ignored in the home garden.
The occasionally extreme soil conditions in the cold season make it difficult to cut in half or tall logs, as in these tree forms a ladder is needed. Frost-hard ground carries the risk of the ladder slipping. Remedy can create long nails, which are beaten in wooden ladders in the spars and act as "claws". An alternative are folding ladders. But even with frost-free soil, the cut is not completely safe. The ladder can sink into the sodden soil and slip away. In any case, therefore, special care is required when a ladder must be used for fruit tree cutting.
Only sharp pruning shears or pruning saws may be used for cutting. A blunt tool would rather tear off the shoots to be removed and create larger wounds with fiber edges ragged. However, the smoother the cuts, the smoother they are. Thus, the use of sharp cutting tools minimizes the risk of infecting pathogens through the wounds into the plant tissue. In addition, working with a sharp tool is much easier than using blunt tools.
The cuts should always be made close to the base of the shoots to be cut, so that no "stubs" remain after the cut.
An exception is only the removal of very strong branches. These are initially removed to about 25 cm above the base, if possible sawed from 2 sides. Only then is the remaining branch cut close to its branching point. This avoids the tearing or "slitting" of the interfaces, which would result in an uncontrolled injury to the tree.
In any case, larger wounds are closed with elastic tree wax, which can be purchased in the garden departments of hardware stores or in garden stores.
The cut is always placed briefly over an eye, which faces outward. This prevents the re-launching into the interior of the crown and makes it too dense.
The fruit tree cut is based on the principle that a strong regression brings about a strong renewal, while a weak pruning causes only moderate growth. Thus, mainly young, growing trees are trimmed vigorously, while apple trees in the yield age no longer require excessive growth and are only moderately regulated. An exception here is the so-called rejuvenation cut, which can be made in older, already low-yielding trees to increase their performance again. Here, the Leitäste and the central drive are cut by at least half, to induce a vigorous re-emergence.
If you are still shying away from doing the fruit tree cutting yourself, you can hire a specialist in fruit tree cutting.
Apple tree cut - when?
Special attention should be paid to the crown in apple tree trimming. Here, too, a generous cut must be made so that the tree form is preserved properly and the sunlight can penetrate to the apples of the entire tree.
The cut is certainly more difficult with especially tall apple trees, but even then you have to carry out this care measure.The apple tree must be cut in any case, because otherwise at the next harvest less apples can be harvested and the yield is accordingly not only lower, but the tree can also develop worse.
Depending on the age and development phase of the apple tree, different types of cuts are made. These are the planting, the parenting and the maintenance cut.
The planting is applied to the still young apple tree, paying particular attention to the lower part of the tree and measures that are important for later development.
During the educational cut, the shoots, which in turn were created on the leading shoots, are cut away from the apple tree. Missing still the conservation section. He is used in older and long standing in the garden apple trees. Here, old branches are removed to make room for new, coming branches, also the necessary, already mentioned clearing, should be part of the work again.
Source: Franz Böhmig, advice for every garden day, Neumann Verlag 1978