Autumn Pruning Of Fruit Trees: How To Prune Apple And Pear Trees, Plum Trees And Cherry Trees

Horticultural trees must be cared for throughout the year. How rich the crop will be and how many years the garden tree will live is directly influenced by the correct and timely care. Pruning trees is important, because it depends on how properly the crown of the plant will be formed. It is necessary to start shaping the crown of a very young plant, its main task is to stimulate the strongest branches to grow as well as to fructify, while those that disturb, grow in the wrong direction, as well as sick, injured and old ones, should be cut off. In order for the tree to have an even distribution of strength, as well as nutrition, it is necessary not only to timely feed and protect it from pests and various diseases, but also to systematically and properly prune in autumn.

Horticultural crops with a well-formed crown produce more and better quality fruits.

Trimming fruit trees in autumn

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

First of all, it is important to know what pruning is? It is the process of removing a whole shoot or a branch or part of it. This method of care is used for both fruit trees and ornamental trees and shrubs. Pruning is involved in regulating the growth, development and fruiting of such plants. The purpose of pruning can be both formative and sanitary, as the tree or shrub after this procedure is freed from those branches that can cause him harm.

If the tree is old enough, gardeners use rejuvenating pruning, after which the plant acquires new strength, while the quantity and quality of fruits remains almost at the same level. This procedure is recommended in the spring and fall, but there are cases when it is simply necessary for the garden culture in the summer months. It should be taken into account that the tree can be trimmed in autumn only if the winter in this area is quite mild and warm. In northern areas, experts advise this procedure to be carried out in the springtime. The fact is that a sharp drop in air temperature after the autumn pruning leads to the fact that in those places where branches were cut, the bark freezes, as well as the wood dries out, and the result is the death of the plant.

There are some types of garden crops that need to be pruned once or twice a year, but there are others that do not need to be pruned as often. Pruning, like other farming practices, has certain rules. So, you just need to know when and how to prune a certain garden crop.

Properties of autumn pruning of fruit crops

Properties of apple tree pruning

Time to prune

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

Apple tree pruning is done in spring and sometimes in summer when the ripening apples lack light because the crown is too thick. It is also carried out in the autumn.

In spring, before the sap starts to flow, branches that have frozen over the winter are removed, and the crown is shaped at this time. In autumn, the apple tree is pruned in November and the crown is usually sanitized. However, autumn pruning should not be started until after the leaves have fallen. The apple tree should be pruned in the first days of summer or in the winter.

Fall pruning

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

In the autumn, branches that are old, injured or diseased or show signs of rotting should be removed.

As the plant is dormant at this time, there is absolutely no harm to the plant.

A sample plan for pruning an apple tree in autumn:

  • First, large branches that are injured or dry should be removed;
  • of branches growing very close together, the strongest should be left and the rest should be removed;
  • Cut branches that grow at an acute angle;
  • The cut lines must be covered with oiled paint or garden varnish but dry branches must be treated immediately and young ones 24 hours later;
  • branches that have been cut away must be destroyed.

If the apple tree is young, only a light pruning with a pruning shear should be carried out and the current year's growth should be shortened by ¼. After that, these specimens are not pruned for 3-5 years, cutting off only dried out and injured branches. However, this is only if the tree is not growing too fast in height.

Those apple trees that are 5-6 years old need medium pruning - strong branches are shortened by 1/3 of their length. Old apple trees are pruned for the purpose of rejuvenation in 3 stages. So, in the first year, about 1/3 of all old branches should be removed, in the second year, another 1/3 of the old branches, and the remaining 1/3 after another 1 year. It is worth taking into account that with mature, powerful branches the secateurs will not cope, here you can not do without a saw. You should also remember that the tools used for pruning must be very sharp and should be disinfected.

How to prune a colony-shaped apple tree

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

How to care for colony-shaped apple trees, you should remember that the more intensive the pruning, the faster and better the remaining branches will grow. If you cut more than ½ of a branch, the 3 or 4 remaining buds will produce vigorous shoots next spring. If you remove less than ½ of the branch, the 5-7 buds that remain will produce 5-7 medium-sized shoots. It is forbidden to cut the central conductor of the column, otherwise the branching of the crown will begin. If one wishes to achieve a column-shaped crown when shaping, then after planting the seedling, its apical shoot should be tied to a support.

The side shoots should be used to form fruiting links. Overly powerful shoots should be cut out to the ring, because they can cause a stunted growth of the conductor. After the young shoots have grown, the crown skeleton is formed from them.

Autumn pruning of trees. How to prune an apple tree in autumn

Features of pruning a pear tree

When to prune a pear

Those gardeners who still have too little experience believe that you should prune a pear tree exactly the same way as an apple tree, but they are mistaken.

A pear tree, like an apple tree, should not be pruned annually. For sanitary purposes, you can only prune a pear tree in the fall if it is still warm outside. In the same case, if it is already frosty, this procedure should be postponed until the next spring, as the pruning of the pear tree in subzero temperatures is not done. If you do prune the branches, the cut sites will not be able to heal, and the branches themselves will freeze and die. The best time to prune this garden crop is spring, when it will be warmer than 8 degrees outside.

If the tree needs to be trimmed in the fall, it can only be done in September. When pruning carried out to shape the crown, it is necessary to remember that the pyramidal shape is more convenient for fruit collection.

Pear pruning in autumn

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

Tree crown shaping should be started as early as its first year, with the need to immediately highlight the skeletal branches, because this will allow the crown to develop not only properly, but also symmetrically. Pruning of annual plants is made at a height of 40 to 50 centimeters from the surface of the ground. In 2-year-old pears, out of 6-8 side branches only 3 or 4 should be left to act as scaffold branches.

They should be pruned at the same level. The conductor should be trimmed 20 centimeters higher than the branches that are skeletal. Autumn pruning of adult pear trees is usually made only for sanitary purposes. So, at this time, branches that thicken the crown, as well as injured and diseased should be cut off. It is also recommended to shorten the crown and annual shoots by 1/3 part, but only in the case when the pear tree is stretched up too much, this helps to strengthen the plant, as well as strengthen the branching, while the buds will begin to develop more quickly.

But try not to disturb the shape of the crown, which should be pyramidal, during the procedure. After the pruning is finished, it is necessary to apply garden varnish to the cut places, as well as existing cracks and damage on the surface of the bark. Old, dry branches should be treated immediately and young branches 24 hours later.

Rejuvenating pruning of an old pear tree begins by shortening the top of the tree. However, if the annual pruning has been done correctly, the crown should be at an optimum height.

In this case it is only necessary to thin the crown by cutting out all old and dried out branches, as well as those which do not bear fruit and grow at an acute angle or parallel to the trunk, the same shoots which remain should be cut off by ¼ part. The treatment should be done with a paint made on olive or garden varnish. Such pruning of old trees should be done in spring because the plant will then be less painful, but this procedure should be done before the buds wake up and the air temperature outside should be at least 5 degrees.

Peculiarities of plum pruning

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

When to prune plum

Plum should also be pruned like other garden crops, with this procedure done when needed at different times of the year. Spring pruning is carried out before the opening of the buds, at this time you should remove those parts of the branches that are frozen, and you should prepare the plum for a period of active growth by shaping the crown.

In the summertime, with too much fruit, pruning may be required to prevent branches from breaking off. After the leaf fall in the fall it is necessary to prepare this garden crop for the winter.

Trimming the plum tree in the fall

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

Trimming the plum tree in the fall not only prepares it for the coming winter, but also helps to increase the yield. After the plant stops growing and all the leaves fall off, the plant begins to prepare for sleep. At this time, traumatized, dry, insect-damaged and diseased branches should be cut from the tree, it is also necessary to shorten the top as well, but this is only when the height of the tree exceeds 250 centimeters.

After that, it is necessary to shorten too fast-growing shoots, as well as to cut the rival shoots, because in the spring time they will start to grow and this will lead to a dense crown, due to which the light will come much worse. In young plum trees, you need to shorten the upper and side shoots by no more than 1/3, and the branches that grow inside the crown should be cut off at all. Shorten old branches in the spring, but if desired, during autumn pruning you can remove trunk branches that did not bear fruit in the current year, as well as cut dry or diseased shoots. Those branches that have been cut should be destroyed. The places of cuts should necessarily be treated.

If the plum tree is old, it is better to postpone pruning until spring. The reason is that the wounds on them do not heal so quickly anymore and in most cases gum starts to flow out of them, as a result, the coming frost can ruin the plant that could have been bearing fruit for many more years.

Properties of cherry pruning

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

When to prune cherries

Cherry trees should not be pruned every year. If you want to prune them back or rejuvenate them, you should do it in spring. In the autumn, pruning can only be done for hygiene purposes.

If the winters are mild and warm, the plant can be trimmed in October in these areas. But in northern areas where there are frosty winters, autumn pruning should be done in September. You can start pruning the plant immediately after the end of leaf fall, but if frost is due soon, this procedure should be postponed until the spring period.

Cherry tree pruning in autumn

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

Those seedlings that are only 1 year old are not pruned in autumn time, the reason being that they cannot recover quickly, and the coming frost can kill them. With older cherries, all but the 5 strongest branches, which should be directed sideways, should be cut out.

In doing so, they should grow no closer than 10 centimeters from each other. Sanitary pruning of adult cherries is made only if necessary, and the dry, injured, as well as diseased branches should be cut off. In the autumn, all the shoots should be cut out, because it makes the plant weaker, while in the winter time small rodents like to hide in it, as well as various pests. If the plant is a rootstock, its shoots are quite suitable for planting, because they are able to retain all the varietal characteristics of the parent plant. In a grafted plant, shoots should not be used for planting, and it is necessary to remove them, as they can cause considerable damage to cherry trees.

Formative pruning of young cherries is done in the springtime. Pruning of old plants for rejuvenation purposes is postponed at the same time.

Peculiarities of apricot pruning

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

When to prune apricots

Trimming of apricots is done in spring, summer and autumn time. In spring time pruning should be thorough, it includes forming, sanitary and, if necessary, rejuvenation pruning. In summer, the plant is cut back only when there is a danger that the branches will break off because of the large number of fruits.

Autumn pruning is for hygiene purposes and to prepare the plant for the coming winter.

April pruning in autumn

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

Before you start pruning the branches you should think about whether the plant should have a tierless or tiered crown. If there is not much space in the garden the apricot should have a bowl-shaped crown and the branches should be shortened by about ½. In the autumn the apricot needs sanitary pruning, for this you need to remove the injured, sick, dry branches, and still need to make thinning of the crown, for this you need to remove those branches and shoots that grow inward. But at the same time it should be remembered that such a plant is very fond of heat in connection with this it is impossible to make deep cuts.

If this does happen, the wound should be smeared with copper sulfate and then garden varnish to prevent the gum from escaping.

Precautions for pruning peach

When to prune peach

Peach pruning can be done in summer, autumn and spring. In the spring, the plant needs formative pruning, and branches that have been damaged by frost should also be removed. Older peaches can also be rejuvenated if necessary. In the summertime, the plant is trimmed as necessary.

In autumn, the peach tree should be prepared for the coming winter.

Peach tree pruning in autumn

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

In autumn, all branches that are not needed as well as those that have been damaged by pests or diseases should be cut back. The cut branches must be destroyed and remember to varnish the cut areas on the plant with oil-based paint or garden varnish.

Tailoring of cherry

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

When to cut the cherry

Forage pruning should be done in spring. In the autumn a sanitary pruning as well as a compulsory rejuvenation pruning should be done (most specialists advise it).

But there is an opinion that in the autumn pruning should be performed only in extreme cases to get rid of the plant injured and infected by disease or pests branches. If the plant is trimmed too much in the fall, this can lead to a slowing of its fruiting. Which of the options for the autumn pruning of cherry trees to choose, must decide the gardener. For example, you can do rejuvenating pruning in autumn, but in case you are not satisfied with the condition of the plant, postpone this procedure for the next year until spring.

Cherry Pruning in autumn

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

Specialists advise giving the plant a cone-shaped crown, with the base being wide.

  This will give the plant enough light and heat and improve air circulation inside the crown. And if desired, the crown can be given a bowl shape or as a tier. In the autumn after the leaves have fallen, all traumatised, dry and diseased branches and stems should be removed. For rejuvenation, branches aged 6-8 years should be cut into ringlets and the cut areas should be covered with oil paint or garden varnish.

Trimming other garden trees

Autumn pruning of fruit trees: how to prune apple and pear trees, plum trees and cherry trees

Remember that the main pruning of various fruit crops should be done in the springtime, except for the apple and pear trees.

At the same time, it should be above zero outside, but you need to have time before the buds swell. The fact is that in the warmth, the wounds on these plants heal better and faster. In the autumn, it is most often recommended to remove only unnecessary branches. This principle of pruning is applicable not only to the plants described above, but also to buckthorn, cherry plum, mulberry, quince, mulberry, cranberry, etc.

Techniques for pruning:

  1. Cut on a budthis will help to change the growth of the branch and point it in the right direction.

    On a one year old stem you should look for a bud that is facing in the direction you want it to go. Then about her branch is cut at an angle of 45 degrees, so that the stump on the opposite side of the stem from the bud was not too long (the length of the spike is about 1.5-2 centimeters). The fact is that a longer stump more often withers, and the bud in the spring time never awakens.

  2. Cut on the ring - when removing unwanted branch, it is cut out entirely on the outer edge of the ring (a special bark influx at the junction of the cut branch with the one that remains).

    This kind of pruning will help to make the main branch a side branch.

There are several different kinds of pruning used for garden crops, namely: regulating, restorative, forming, rejuvenating and sanitary.

A garden jam is smeared on the cut and wound sites, and the layer should be about 0.3-0.5 centimeters thick.

Nowadays, experts increasingly suggest replacing it with latex paint containing copper salts or you can use "artificial bark" as it speeds up the regeneration process and protects the wound from excessive drying as well as from water and pathogens getting into it.

Cherry, a simple pruning method. Shape easy-to-care-for cherries.


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