Apricot pruning in the fall for beginners
Apricot pruning in the fall is an important element in caring for this fruit tree. A timely procedure will preserve the health of the tree and increase the future yield. The intricacies of work and subsequent care are described below.
Types of pruning depending on the age of the tree
Modern gardening distinguishes the following types of pruning fruit trees:
- formativecarried out on a young seedling (1–4 years) to obtain the desired shape of the crown;
- regulatory, which allows you to maintain the plant in the selected form, normalize the crop and maintain strength for growth and fruiting;
- anti-aging, which enhances the appearance of young shoots on old trees;
- recovery (sanitary), during which sick, broken, frozen or dried branches are removed.
Most often, a gardener combines several types of pruning, performing them at a time.
Did you know? Halved dried apricot fruits without seeds are called dried apricots, and from small-fruited varieties get apricot — whole-dried fruit. If you remove a bone from the fruit through the base of the stalk before drying, you get kaisa, and if you remove the kernel from the bone and put it back in the apricot, you get ashtak-pashtak.
What is apricot pruned for?
- There are several reasons why apricots need pruning:
- restraining the rapid growth and emergence of young shoots in an undesirable direction;
- yield control, since apricot does not shed excess ovary and may not withstand heavy loads;
- stimulation of young growth;
- without control, the fruits are smaller, and the fruit buds are not formed in sufficient quantities.
When and how to trim?
To maintain the shape and health of the tree, work is carried out in the following periods:
- in early spring, they perform the formation necessary for young seedlings;
- during the summer they carry out anti-aging measures, stimulating the formation of young shoots (every 3 years);
- all types of pruning are performed in the fall.
The first seedling formation is carried out immediately during the spring planting or the next spring during the autumn planting.
Fruit tree pruning rules:
An important condition for autumn pruning is the correct timing.
To determine which month to do the work, you need to find out a combination of two factors:
- the tree should "go" to a state of rest;
- before the onset of frost, he should have enough time to heal the slices.
Usually this period begins in mid-October.
Important! Not every apricot can be cut before winter! Full fall pruning is suitable only for early and mid-ripening varieties.
Only a sharpened tool should be used for trimming. A dull blade will not allow you to get an even cut and splits or burrs may remain on the branch. Diseases and pests that can lead to significant problems easily penetrate such places.
A pruner will be enough for pruning a young apricot, while a hacksaw, delimber or saw may be needed for an adult tree. It will be more convenient to cut a tall tree with a tool with an elongated handle. Before operation, the blades should be disinfected, and when switching from tree to tree, the procedure must be repeated to avoid the transfer of disease.
Such disinfection methods are suitable:
- alcohol or hydrogen peroxide;
- a solution of potassium permanganate or bleach;
- 5-10% solution of iron sulfate;
- calcination over a gas burner;
- drug Farmayod.
Do not climb a tree to get to its upper branches. It is better to use a ladder, otherwise you can damage the bark or break branches.
Did you know? Apricot gum, protruding from cracks in the wood, is crushed into powder and used in medicine as a full-fledged analog of gum arabic for the preparation of oil emulsions.
Apricot pruning scheme for beginners in autumn
Apricot can meet the first fall both with one central conductor, and with existing branches.
In the first case, the trunk is cut to a height of about 1 m above the ground, and in the second, they do this:
- Choose 2-3 future skeletal branches located not too close to each other.
- Selected shoots are cut in half.
- The remaining branches are cut "into a ring."
- The central trunk is cut so that it rises above other branches by 20-30 cm.
Before the second fall, the apricot will grow new shoots, and you will need to perform another pruning.
The 2 year scheme looks like this:
- The branches left last fall are cut in half.
- In the second row, 2-3 strong branches are selected again, which should be located in the intervals between the branches of the first row (when viewed from above).
- New branches of the second row are cut shorter than in the first row.
- Shoots grown on skeletal branches also shorten, focusing on the variety. For fast-growing apricot plants, such branches should be shortened by half, and for varieties with moderate growth, it is enough to reduce the shoots by a third.
- The central trunk is cut again, leaving it 40-50 cm above the upper shoot.
Video: pruning a young apricot
In the third autumn, the last lateral branches form.
The process looks like this:
- In the last tier, 2-3 strong branches are selected and the central conductor is cut to the base of the uppermost one.
- All branches are shortened, as in the second autumn.
Important! All branches are trimmed to the outer bud so that the branch that has grown from it is not directed to the center of the crown, thickening it.
Starting from the fourth year, most trees enter the fruiting season and do not perform shortening of shoots for the next few years. In autumn, sick and dried branches are cut out, and shoots with growth inside the crown are also removed.
The lateral shoots of the main branches, on which most fruits are formed, should be no more than 50 cm in length. If they grew stronger during the summer, they should be shortened.
Tree care after pruning
Immediately after trimming, it is necessary to treat the cut with a special paint or garden var. If necessary, the process is performed after 2-3 weeks.
In order for the young tree to better survive the winter, it is recommended to introduce autumn complex fertilizers and organize additional shelter of the near-trunk circle (by mulching) and the trunk (strapping).
What will happen if you do not trim on time?
Timely pruning will ensure regular fruiting and fruit quality. Left without formation and regular monitoring, the tree will grow faster, but after the first few years, significant disadvantages will be noticeable.
- the central trunk will be thin and too high;
- branches become thinner and can break under the weight of the fruit;
- the trunk is quickly exposed, and the fruits become smaller.