So that fruit trees grow optimally and of course also bear a lot of fruit, they have to be cut every now and then. In doing so, however, you should definitely not go lively, because here, too, you can do a lot wrong. When do you cut, how do you cut and, above all, what should be considered when cutting a fruit tree?

Pruning basics

Before you can start pruning the fruit trees, you first need the appropriate cuttings – the fruit trees. If you want to re-plant them, you should know that you can plant them either in autumn or in spring. After that, it is first of all to care for and cherish and fertilize regularly.

Tree pruning should be done carefully and, above all, properly, as this is crucial for growth and harvest. In doing so, you primarily cut the diseased shoots and pieces of branches. But the shoots that have grown wild should also be cut. In addition, cut out all shoots that are growing inwards and remove old and dead branches. The wounds caused by pruning the fruit tree should be covered appropriately so that no fungi and infections can form.

During pruning, a distinction is made between crown pruning, plant pruning, training pruning and maintenance pruning and proceed as follows:

  1. The crown cut into a kind of pyramid.
  2. The first cut is made immediately after planting.
  3. When cutting the shoots, the last bud should be on the outside or on top. You only ever cut the shoots that are between two buds.
  4. Shoots are shortened by a third.
  5. The leading shoots stop and wild shoots are shortened.
  6. Cut steeply sloping branches and thin out the branches that have grown too dense.
  7. Cut old and sick wood.
  8. Make sure that all the shoots have enough light and space so that the air can circulate better.

The right time

The right tool is essential for pruning fruit trees. You need secateurs with which you can cut thinner branches about 1.5 centimeters thick. However, only use sharp scissors to keep the wounds as small as possible. Use pruning shears for slightly thicker branches. You can also use this with a telescopic extension for a smaller tree, in which case you do not necessarily need a ladder. A hacksaw should be available for large branches. This allows you to remove the branches directly at the branch. A jigsaw is an alternative here.

If you want to cut out smaller wounds, you should use a sharp knife with a round cutting surface or a garden stick. The wounds that occurred when pruning the fruit tree should be coated with a suitable wound closure that you can purchase at the hardware store.

Pruning apple tree

The ideal time to prune an apple tree would be right after flowering. However, this is primarily thinned out and dead, damaged, crossing and overly close shoots are removed.

Plant pruning should definitely be carried out on young trees. The purpose of this is to ensure that the tree only forms one main shoot. Remove all upward shoots that get in the way of the main shoot. The remaining side shoots are only slightly shortened. How to achieve better side branch growth. During the construction cut, all branches hanging down are shortened.
In the case of older trees, a maintenance cut is carried out in autumn. With this cut, all branches that have grown vertically upwards and that are in the way of the crown are cut. Any branches that have arisen should also be shortened down to a younger shoot.

Intersect cherry tree

Cherry trees are cut after the harvest, i.e. in summer. In this way you can curb the strong growth a little and at the same time increase the yields for the coming year. However, if you don’t make the cut until the fall, the wounds won’t have as much time to heal and heal poorly due to weather conditions and rainfall, which in turn means an increased risk of infection. It is recommended to cut the cherry annually.

  • When pruning the fruit tree, the crown is first made smaller. The use of loppers is suitable for thick branches.
  • Side branches that have grown inwards are cut out.
  • Drooping branches are simply shortened.
  • Always cut above a stronger and, above all, young shoot.
  • Strongly branched branches are also shortened.
  • Old wounds are cut out with a knife.
  • Short side shoots, which are arranged in the form of a whisk, are spared from the cut, as these produce most of the fruit.
  • Also light out older branches a little and make sure that the crown receives good light.
  • The wounds resulting from the incision should also be provided with a wound closure here.

Fruit tree pruning – what to look out for

First of all, you should absolutely adhere to the cutting sequence. You start with the planting pruning, followed by the upbringing pruning and crown building pruning. The maintenance cut takes place a little later. When pruning the fruit tree, make sure that the fruit tree is in a good shape and that the fruit has enough space to thrive. If the tree is overgrown, it sometimes receives too little light and the air cannot circulate properly – the result is diseases and fungi.

Decide the cutting time from tree to tree. If you cut in the summer, the growth of the tree will be slowed down. However, if you cut in winter, growth will be stimulated. If you want to ensure good yields, you should bear in mind that young wood produces better yields than old wood.

Only use sharp tools for cutting, as this is the only way to keep the wounds as small as possible.

With a neat cut, the fruit trees not only stay in shape, they also bring better yields for the next year. In my experience, you should only cover wounds that are larger than one euro piece. Smaller wounds usually heal fairly quickly. In addition, it is advantageous if you only use the tool for pruning trees and not for other materials, as this would otherwise quickly become blunt and leave larger wounds when pruning, which in turn is the ideal breeding ground for germs and fungi.

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