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When should you prune the apple tree in spring or autumn? And again and again the question, which branches are cut and how far? How do I recognize fruit wood and water shoots? The best approach: get a small theoretical overview and then start working. Every apple tree forgives a few mistakes when cutting. Best "learning by doing". This is always more promising for a good harvest than doing nothing, for fear of doing something wrong.
The timing of the main section is largely unanimous. The best months are February and March. At this time, the water has not yet fully risen in the branches. In addition, the apple tree can still regenerate from the cuts before it comes to bloom. Due to the protection of the birds, there are precise specifications as to when trees can be cut back or cut on the trunk. Mostly this is the period from March to September. During this time, only slight correction cuts are allowed. Until when exactly stronger cutbacks are allowed, you should inquire in advance in his community. In autumn, from September, you can remove dead, rotten branches. The more an apple tree grows, the later in spring it should be pruned. A later cut inhibits the growth, but promotes the formation of short shoots, which later on ripen the fruits.
Tip: During the cutting work in spring, temperatures should not be below -5° C. The wood is then too brittle for a healthy trim.
Which branches are cut or cut depends, among other things, on the shape of the tree. Basically, there are two types of apple tree, the round crown and the spindle. Often, this framework is already predetermined when buying. Rather dwarf trees with horizontal branches are shaped as a spindle during the educational cut. The strong-growing varieties on a high stem with round crown shape.
- round crown
- education section
- Wild shoots (water shoots) and root rashes are completely removed.
- Competitive drives to the leaders are also completely removed.
- Central drive and leading drives are shortened a little.
- Side drives (short drives) on the main drives are not cut.
- Control of the position of the leaders. In the young tree, if necessary, they can be bent in the desired direction and fixed.
- Every year is the illumination. That is, shoots that grow inward and intersect or touch will be removed.
- rejuvenation pruning
- Competitive impulses to the leading gears and water shoots are removed as usual.
- dead branches are removed.
- The apple tree bears fruit on biennial wood. So the one-year wood should not be completely removed when pruning, otherwise there will be no harvest in the following year.
- Annual shoots are recognizable by their lighter wood.
- Inward-pointing and intersecting shoots are removed.
- Not much is cut around on the fruit wood. Only branches that grow strongly down are curtailed.
- If branches are merely shortened, then always above an eye that is directed outwards.
Expressed differently: Strong cut means stronger growth and fewer flower buds, meaning less (but usually thicker) apples. Accordingly, a weak cut results in a weaker growth, but more flowers and a higher yield. However, often with smaller fruit size.
- Water shoots and completely removed branches are cut off directly at the origin.
- Branches to be shortened are always cut off above an outwardly facing bud obliquely outwards in the direction of growth.
- Do not cut too obliquely so as not to unnecessarily increase the cut surface.
- Thicker branches are severed with a folding saw or a powerful pruning shears.
- From a branch diameter of 3 cm, the cuts should be brushed with a wound balm for trees, especially in the trade, to avoid infection.
- Always use sharp tools to make smooth cuts.
In connection with the cut of apple trees one meets again and again some technical terms. Here is a simple explanation:
- juice Libra
- Alternating crop rotation
- water lap
In addition to the shape cut for a balanced crown, the main goal of the annual cut is a rich harvest. With this goal in mind, it is relatively easy to decide which shoots to remove in early spring and which are not. The crown also needs in its interior enough light and air to form flowers. So rather radical than too timid approach to the annual cut.