How to prune a columnar apple tree in autumn
Column-shaped apple trees appeared in the gardens relatively recently, this format of plants significantly saves the area and allows you to grow fruits compactly and without extra costs. This article discusses how to prune a fruit tree in the fall in order to maximize their growth and fruiting.
Description and characteristics of columnar apple trees
This type of apple tree differs significantly from others in that the plant is low and easily accessible for care. This is not a dwarf apple tree, but the height of the crop is small - about 3-4 meters. Varietal characteristics significantly depend on the stock on which the vaccination was made. Colon-shaped apple trees can bear fruits of various colors. Colon-shaped apple trees are not very suitable for Russia, as they were bred for regions with a warm climate.On a small tree, several kilograms of apples can ripen. Usually, these are large red fruits with juicy and sweet pulp. The columnar apple tree has a superficial root system, which does not allow the tree to grow in places with a harsh climate. The apical kidneys are heat demanding and can freeze when frozen. Therefore, these low, whimsical trees do not grow further than the southern regions of the country.
Basic rules for the formation of columnar apple trees
Pruning such a special resident of the garden is usually minimal and is aimed at improving fruiting. And the plant itself is not inclined to build up excessive shoots if it is “satisfied” with the growth conditions.
Did you know? An apple tree in Europe has been known since the Neolithic - when excavating the lake sites of a prehistoric man in Switzerland, charred remains of the fruits of this tree were found.
Why do you need to trim
Extra branches prevent the seedling from “concentrating” on the formation of the fruit. The reasons for trimming are as follows:
- the shape of the column is broken;
- the crown thickens;
- leaf mass increases;
- small fruits are formed.
When to start pruning an apple tree
The first year the plant forms independently - taking into account organic fertilizing during planting, genetic data and growth conditions. After the branches begin to multiply actively, the seedling must be thinned out both in spring and in autumn.
Important! Garden tools should be sharpened and kept standing in a dry shed or pantry.
In the case of a columnar apple tree, one year after planting, you need to proceed to the formation of the crown. The necessary form will be achieved in the third year of growth, then the tree will consolidate and will support the formed structure of the crown.
What tools will be needed
To trim the young tree, you will need the following tools:
- garden saw - to remove large branches;
- secateurs - for the formation of crowns;
- scissors - for cutting small shoots;
- brush to cover the cut points.
Schemes and forms of correct trimming
When forming the crown of low trees, it is necessary to take into account the features of their structure. The trunk is shortened very carefully, as it is the basis of culture. Pruning is of two types - thinning and deleting. In the first case, part of the branch is cut, in the second - the entire shoot.
Important! On a tree there should not be branches that are thicker than half of the main trunk.
The formation of the crown is carried out according to this scheme:
- in the year of planting, branches are cut into two buds, which helps rooting;
- the next year, branches that grow perpendicular to the central shoot are identified and cut by 30 cm;
- in the third year, last year's pruning is repeated and branches that have completed fruiting are removed;
- in the fourth year, thickening thin branches are removed;
- in the fifth year, when the plant slows down growth, young shoots are nipped and branches of this year are removed.
Autumn pruning involves the following operations:
- all annual shoots are shortened to a length of two buds;
- old, dry branches and shoots thickening the crown of the tree are removed;
- In addition to annual pruning, once every five years the fruiting branch is removed to be replaced by a new, young one.
Did you know? Wild apple trees can often not only survive a person, but also bear fruit for 150 and even 300 years. A tree grown from seeds is much stronger and tenacious.
After trimming branches with a thickness of more than 2 cm, the cut points are lubricated with garden varieties (paraffin - 5-6 parts, rosin - 2-3 parts, vegetable oil - 2 parts). Smaller sections of the plant will heal on its own.
You need to prune the apple tree in calm and calm weather to give it time to heal the wounds in a calm environment.Pruning should be effective, so you should not spare those parts of the tree that feed on its juices, but do not bring benefits
How to thin out the crown to get large fruits
To obtain large fruits, the plant must receive proper care. In the case of a columnar apple tree, in addition to watering and top dressing, proper pruning is very important. For a good harvest, you need to save the crown of the kidney, the absence or damage of which will significantly affect the health of the culture. The vertebral kidney also suffers from low temperatures, and, when it is sick or dies, young shoots thicken the crown and take away the juices. Because of this, the fruits are smaller and the tree degenerates.
How to correctly trim long fruiting
For a long time, those apple trees that grow in light and loose soils bear fruit. If the gardener knows how to properly care for the trees - watering, fertilizing, pruning, hilling, then the life of the plant can be significantly extended (even up to 100 years). Pruning should be aimed not only at the beauty of the crown, but also at the removal of parts of the culture that can pick up excess juices.
Do I need to wind the tops of a columnar apple tree
So that the crown bud of the plant does not freeze, they wrap it with rags in the winter cold. For many gardeners, this issue is controversial, as a culture with a frozen bud will continue to bear fruit, but its shape will change - horizontal shoots will begin to appear, the fight against which will have to devote a lot of time.
But the main trunk will stop growing, which will affect the yield, and the size of the fruit, and their taste. In order for the tree to survive the winter and continue to please with beautiful flowering and plentiful harvest, its crown should be covered for the winter. And the seedling itself should be well tied to a reliable support, which will not allow it to break during winter storms.In addition to rags, you can use several layers of paper or natural fabric
The columnar apple tree is a somewhat exotic plant, since it does not at all look like a "classic" apple tree. That must be treated in a special way. The culture has low frost resistance, therefore it is worth growing it from the south side of the house, carefully weeding, hilling and mulching for the winter.
Particular attention should be paid to the length of the hemp remaining after trimming:
- long can lead to further death of the main trunk and even to the death of the tree;
- short will not allow the upper kidneys to develop;
- crooked or excessively cut will slow down the development of the tree.
Tips from experienced gardeners
Gardeners who are engaged in the cultivation of this species of apple trees give the following tips:
- pruning is done with a sharp tool, which before work can be soaked for several minutes in warm water;
- in winter, the snow that has fallen is scooped up to the trunk and to the circumferential earth - in the cold it will protect the tree, and in the spring it will give the proper amount of melt water for the roots;
- when pruning, the most powerful shoot is left - the gardener has to decide which one;
- the slice is made diagonally from the bottom up, in the opposite direction, from the kidney;
- when cutting, incorrect movements that injure the wood are not allowed;
- it is better to plant seedlings in the spring - they will have a long period in the warm season to take root, grow stronger and then withstand the winter cold without damage to the plant.