Correct pruning of apricots in spring, summer and autumn (diagram)

Correct pruning of apricots in spring, summer and autumn (diagram)

The apricot is a tree that retains all its ovaries, and in order for it to be beautiful and bring a stable harvest, the grower should do annual pruning.

Carrying out such work, you can make a lot of mistakes, therefore it is very important to know the correct algorithm of actions and approach this procedure as seriously as possible.

Why do apricots need pruning?

Given the individual characteristics of an apricot, we can say that an apricot needs pruning for the following reasons:

  1. So that the crown of the apricot is neat and it needs to be beautifully formed on its own, otherwise the branches will grow strongly.
  2. If the apricot is not trimmed, then initially it will bear strong fruit, while the crown becomes very thick and powerful. But after a certain amount of time, the internal branches go bald and age very quickly, begin to break and fall off.
  3. Fruiting buds are laid in smaller quantities.and the remaining fruit gets smaller.
  4. Also, if you do not regulate the amount of future harvest in the first years of the tree's life, branches will begin to break under the weight of the fruit.
  5. The growth of new shoots stops.

You should not rejoice if the fruit is too abundant, because it can destroy the tree.

With regular pruning of apricot crown acquires the correct shape, and for many years it will be possible to get a large, juicy and annual harvest. Also, the life of the tree becomes much longer.

In what season can you prune - spring, summer or fall?

Apricot needs complex pruning, which is why such the procedure is carried out in spring, autumn and summer.

From the first year of life in early spring, the tree needs to properly form the crown... This work helps to normalize the number of fruits and significantly improves their quality.

In the autumn, they carry out sanitary pruning., which will help prepare the apricot for winter and make it healthy. During this procedure, all diseased, dry and damaged branches are removed.

In summer, the tree is rejuvenated, thereby increasing the number of young growths. This procedure is carried out once every 3 years.

In order to get a bountiful harvest of delicious apricots every year, you need to take care of the tree and follow all the rules.

How to carry out the procedure correctly

In order not to harm the apricot, but, on the contrary, to help, pruning must be done according to special rules... They will help you avoid mistakes and carry out the work as efficiently as possible.

Timing for crown formation and rejuvenation of an old tree

All work should be carried out during a period of low activity of the tree, until active sap flow begins, an exception is summer rejuvenating pruning.

Formative and sanitary pruning is carried out in early spring (late March) or late autumn (October - November).

Instrument preparation

To carry out the work you may need:

  • secateurs;
  • hacksaw;
  • lopper;
  • garden knife.

Before using all instruments must be disinfected in a special liquid... This procedure will help prevent the spread of diseases and pests.

Also, so that the tree does not suffer, all blades must be well sharpened.

Scheme and technology

Experienced gardeners recommend to form the crown of an apricot with a discharged-tiered method... In this case, 5-7 main branches of the first row are taken out at a distance of 40 centimeters.

The pattern will change depending on the tree's life year.

For the formation of the correct crown, it is very important not to delay the pruning, they begin to carry out these works from the first year of the tree's life.

First year

If any branches are missing on the purchased seedling, it shorten and leave 80-90 centimeters from the ground.

If there are already shoots on the young tree, the work is carried out as follows:

  • the main conductor is cut in such a way that it is 20-30 centimeters higher than other branches;
  • even the most powerful branches located along the row are reduced by exactly 2 times;
  • the remaining processes are completely removed, while the presence of hemp is also not allowed, therefore the pruning is carried out "on the ring".

Further, throughout the season, it is necessary to monitor the development and growth of the tree and remove branches growing inside the crown or in the wrong direction in time.

Second year

During this period, work on the formation of the crown continues and the main goal will be to set up new main branches.

To do this, perform the following actions:

  • select a few more strong branches so that they are at a distance of 30 centimeters, both from last year's shoots and from each other. Then they are cut using the subordination method. The method of subordination in horticulture expresses the fact that the upper branches should be shorter than the lower ones;
  • the length of the main conductor should be equal to 40 centimeters from the last branch growing to the side;
  • those shoots that were formed last year are also pruned a little;
  • shoots grown on skeletal branches per season are shortened, taking into account the individual characteristics of the variety. Thus, in fast growing varieties, they are halved, and in moderately growing varieties by 1/3.

Third year

In this period lay the last skeletal branches, while the work is carried out according to the following algorithm:

  • the main work on the formation of the crown is carried out in the same way as in the second year of the life of the apricot;
  • the only difference is that this time the conductor is not shortened, but removed completely;
  • in addition, you need to take care of overgrowing branches, whose presence is mandatory on a healthy tree. For their formation, it is necessary to slightly reduce the branches that grow from the trunk, but are not skeletal.

Fourth year

Since that time, the crown of the tree is considered to be formed.... In addition, it is at the age of four that many varieties begin to bear fruit.

From this period, for 3 years, pruning will be carried out only as a sanitary and recreational work.

Formative pruning of apricot:

Old apricot

In adulthood apricot needs rejuvenation every 3-4 years, because it is by this time that the old branches lose the ability to set fruits and need to be updated.

To rejuvenate an old apricot, you need to shorten several branches of the skeleton to a length of 20-30 centimeters.

If fruits are formed only on the distant parts of the tree, then in the spring, you can completely bare all skeletal branches... By the summer, many young, fruiting shoots will appear on them.

Features at different times of the year

Trimming may differ from each other depending on when it was done. In each period, there are several features that must be paid attention to.

Spring

In spring, usually the end of March-beginning of April is chosenwhen the air is already relatively warm, and the sap flow has not yet begun.

During this period, the following types of work are carried out:

  • crown formation;
  • sanitary and supportive pruning.

The very first such work in the life of a tree must be done in the spring.

When pruning an adult tree, it should be borne in mind that the main goal will be to completely remove all damaged branches that have broken in the wind, frozen, etc.

Otherwise, the apricot will spend a lot of energy on the restoration of diseased shoots, which will not have the best effect on the quality and quantity of the crop.

Spring pruning and spraying of apricot:

Summer

Such works are commonly called "chasing". Usually they are carried out in late spring-early summer, the main thing is to keep within 10-15 June.

Summer pruning aims to rejuvenate the tree., which in turn will increase the amount of the harvested crop. The algorithm of actions for this procedure is as follows:

  • young shoots that have formed in the current year are shortened so that their length is 20-30 centimeters;
  • after 2-3 weeks, young shoots should appear, 3-4 of the most powerful shoots are selected from it, and the rest are removed.

By the onset of autumn, all the foliage on the tree should have already recovered, and the cuts should be tightened. Additional fruit buds will begin to form on the secondary shoots.

Summer pruning is carried out once every 3-4 years in order to stimulate the tree to growth and abundant fruiting.

In that case, if for any reason the tree does not have enough moisture, these works should be postponed.

Otherwise, the apricot will weaken and take a long time to recover, while the entire positive effect of the procedure will turn into negative.

Summer apricot pruning, in August:

Fall

During autumn pruning, it is necessary to clear the tree of diseased shoots and restore the balance between fruiting and deciduous branches.

All fruit branches, except for skeletal branches, are cut to 1/3 of the length... It is also necessary to completely remove dry, damaged or diseased branches.

The best time for such work is mid-October., moreover, if the weather is rainy or early frosts have come, it is better not to prune the pruning procedure.

Good care after

After pruning, apricots especially need high-quality and complete care. In order for the tree to be able to recover as soon as possible, it is necessary to carry out the following work:

  1. Places of cuts must be lubricated with a thin layer of garden varnish.
  2. With a large wound, it is treated with a solution of copper sulfate in order to further disinfect it.
  3. In order for the tree to have more strength for recovery, nitrogen, phosphorus and organic fertilizers are applied to the trunk circle.

Pruning apricots only seems very difficult at first.... After a certain amount of time has passed, all actions will begin to become a habit and their implementation will not require any special effort.


Tool

Rejuvenating an old tree can be a daunting task, since the fruits generally grow only at the top, and in that place the crown is very thickened, the branches can be diseased or dry. First, excess branches are removed and the crown is freed from oversaturation. Thus, the light hits the fruiting part of the tree. For a full-fledged work, and this is especially important for an old tree, which can be very difficult to cut, you need to prepare the following tools:

  • Garden shears or knife
  • Secateurs
  • Garden var
  • A device for warming up a garden var
  • Hacksaw
  • Ladder

Having such tools, it will be much easier to work, and there is no better way to form the crown and help the tree to develop correctly than to prevent crown density and work on pruning it. This should be done with a healthy plant, where the summer growth is from 40 cm. You can verify the correct use of the described tools for your garden in the video at the end of the recording.


How to prune an apricot in spring and fall

Apricot belongs to the category of trees that cannot independently regulate the formation of fruits. Thus, the branches break under the weight of the crop, and the crown is deformed. To prevent this, it is necessary to regularly carry out timely pruning throughout the season, this will help not only preserve the integrity of the apricot, but also improve the quality of the fruit.

Carrying out this procedure requires adherence to deadlines, basic rules and recommendations, and ignoring them can lead to a weakening of the tree's immunity and its death.

As it grows, the upper tier of the branches thickens and prevents the passage of light to the lower shoots. As a result, a huge tree grows, which bears fruit only at the top. And since they are weak, they cannot withstand the severity of the harvest and begin to break off.

Benefits of pruning for apricot:

  • helps to extend the life of the tree by rejuvenating the crown
  • increases the functionality of fruiting branches
  • improves the passage of sunlight to the lower tier
  • forms the correct crown shape
  • improves yield and quality of fruits
  • is a prophylaxis against pests and diseases
  • cleans from damaged and broken branches.

With the help of pruning, a complete redistribution of the forces of the apricot occurs, which has a positive effect on the further growth and development of the tree.

Apricot early in the spring enters the growing season, so the procedure must be carried out before active sap flow in the shoots. This contributes to the rapid recovery of the tree and the healing of wounds.

In the case of severe frosting of the branches in winter, it is recommended to prune at a later date, this will help determine the degree of damage.

It is necessary to carry out the procedure only under the condition of a positive air temperature, regardless of the time of day.

The optimal time for pruning apricots in spring is late March-early April, and in autumn - late September-mid-October, depending on the climate of the region.

Experts identify several main types of procedures, depending on the purpose of its implementation. Each method has certain rules and features of the conduct:

  1. 1. Formative pruning. It is carried out for the correct formation of the crown of a young apricot, which helps to strengthen the skeleton of the tree. This type of procedure is used for seedlings under the age of 5 years and is the basis for the further growth and development of the tree. Depending on how correctly the tree will be cut during this period, its further functionality depends. Experts recommend carrying out the manipulation in the spring.
  2. 2. Anti-aging. It is used for old trees that have used up their fruiting potential. This pruning method helps to prolong the life of the tree and helps to increase yields. The procedure is carried out in stages, for three years in a row every spring.
  3. 3. Sanitary. This type of procedure is carried out in order to clean the crown of a tree from damaged, broken and thickening branches. As a result, it makes it possible to improve the permeability of light to the lower tier and is a prophylaxis against diseases and pests. You can use sanitary pruning as needed, but it is best to do this in summer or autumn, since damaged shoots can freeze at low temperatures.

The procedure, depending on the way it is carried out, can be carried out by thinning and shortening the shoots. In the first case, this allows you to clean the thickening branches, which block the access of light deep into the crown. This method increases the yield and quality of the fruit.

By shortening, the shoots are only cut in half. This helps to strengthen the skeleton of the apricot, stimulate the growth of young branches and increase the number of ovaries.

There are several general rules and recommendations that should be followed regardless of the type of pruning carried out:

  1. 1. All necessary tools must be pre-sharpened and disinfected - this will help prevent infection from entering fresh wounds.
  2. 2. It is imperative to observe the priority of the branches, that is, the bottom row should be stronger and longer than all subsequent ones.
  3. 3. Pruning should be done prior to pest and disease treatment.
  4. 4. Skeletal branches must be cut at an acute angle.
  5. 5. Shoots less than 4 cm thick are recommended to be cut under the bud, but so as not to damage it.
  6. 6. The yield of the tree depends on the angle of the branches' connection to the main conductor, therefore it is recommended to leave branches growing horizontally from the trunk.
  7. 7. During the previous season, it is necessary to identify branches that were significantly lagging behind in growth from the rest, since they must be removed in the first place.
  8. eight.When forming the skeleton of a tree, it is necessary to timely clean the crown of unnecessary shoots that are trying to become the top.

Failure to comply with the rules for pruning apricot leads to a weakening of the tree and a long recovery, which negatively affects its frost resistance.

In order to restore the functionality of trees, rejuvenating pruning of old is carried out by replacing long-growing skeletal branches with young promising shoots - this will improve productivity and extend the life of the apricot.

The main sign of the need for the procedure is an annual growth of shoots of less than 20 cm.

When pruning, you should adhere to the following rules:

  • branches older than 5 years must be removed at an angle of 45 degrees at a distance of 1 m from the main trunk
  • clear the crown of all shoots growing in the middle
  • remove branches pointing down
  • leave one strong shoot on each skeletal branch, and remove the rest
  • drooping branches should be pruned to the first upward branch
  • Cut off the main conductor at a height of 2 m.

Complete rejuvenation of the tree is carried out within 3 years, since too cardinal removal of shoots can lead to the death of the apricot.

There are several types of forming the crown of a young seedling. The most common is the sparse-tiered (the procedure involves 5-7 skeletal branches, which are located at a height of 30-40 cm from each other).

Diagram of apricot crown formation

In the first year after planting the apricot in a permanent place, it is necessary to shorten the main conductor at a height of 90 cm. If there are side shoots, 2 of them should be selected, and the rest should be completely cut into a ring, without leaving stumps. The abandoned branches must be shortened by 1/3.

In the second year, it is necessary to select several more promising shoots that will make up the skeleton of the tree. But they should not be located closer than 35 cm to last year's. The lower tier should be shortened by 1/3 of its entire length, and the new one by half. The main conductor must be cut 40 cm above the upper lateral shoots.

In the third year, the rest of the skeletal branches are laid according to the principle of the previous time. In this case, the main trunk should be cut immediately above the third tier of branches. And the side shoots are based on the principle of priority, that is, the bottom row should be 10-15 cm longer than the next one.

From the fourth year, the apricot begins to form fruits, and therefore the shortening of the shoots is no longer carried out. The crown is cleaned from broken, thickening and damaged branches. This pruning is done annually for the next 3-4 years.

At the age of the tree 6-7 years, another stage of formative pruning is carried out, which will help to increase the number of fruits. Therefore, at the end of each skeletal branch, it is recommended to leave 2-3 shoots, shortening them by 1/3 of the length. Between them, it is necessary to highlight the replacement knot, cutting it off at a length of 15 cm from the base. Also, the crown is cleaned from damaged branches growing in the middle of the crown.

In the future, the formation is reduced to maintaining the correct shape of the crown and timely stripping it from unnecessary branches.

After each pruning of the wound, the tree should be covered with garden varnish to prevent infection.

Sometimes even minor pruning errors can cause severe damage to the tree:

  1. 1. The use of a blunt instrument leads to the fact that burrs remain on the bark, which eventually begin to rot.
  2. 2. Late pruning in the fall leads to the fact that the wounds do not have time to heal, and the tree may freeze out.
  3. 3. Non-observance of the priority of the rows of branches leads to a weakening of the lower row and its further withering away. As a result, the main stem is overstated, and the fruits are formed especially at the top.
  4. 4. Do not leave branches extending from the main trunk at an angle of 30 degrees, as they will break off under the weight of the fruit. The optimal angle of the shoots is 45 degrees.
  5. 5. Overestimated laying of the lower tier leads to the fact that the fruits will be located at least 2 m, which will significantly complicate the harvest.

Apricot pruning can solve the problem of rapid growth of young stock, which negatively affects the yield and quality of the fruit. Timely carrying out of the procedure in compliance with all the rules can significantly increase the functionality of the shoots and extend the life of the tree.


Pruning in spring, summer and fall

Removing 1-2 large, irregularly growing branches is better than many small branches

Spring and summer treatments are the most rational, as they allow the tree to recover and prepare for wintering.

Spring is held immediately after the end of the frost, before the start of sap flow or after it ends, but before bud break. Most often it is March-April.

In early spring, a rejuvenating pruning of an adult tree is carried out: drying out and weak branches are removed, and skeletal ones are oriented outward into free space. They also carry out sanitization: they remove branches that have died out after frost and infected with mold.

Removing 1-2 large, irregularly growing branches is better than many small branches

To increase the activity of abundant growth of shoots in the next year, as well as to increase winter hardiness and protection from return frosts, summer pruning of apricot trees is carried out. After June 20, you can start pinching and pruning young growth.

When young branches reach a length of 40 cm, they need to be cut in half. If this length is not reached, then pinch the twigs after 5 leaves.

Autumn pruning takes place in mid-October. In its process, the affected areas are removed, and weak growth is cut off. If there is damage to the wood, then the trunk is cleaned and treated with an antibacterial agent.


Schemes for the formation of the crown of a young apricot

The main task of formative autumn pruning is to create conditions under which the plant can evenly distribute nutrients primarily to the main fruiting branches, therefore, the formation of the apricot trunk and the placement of skeletal branches on it should be monitored from an early age.

Young shoots do not need strong pruning until the tree gets stronger. When the growth of greenery on a young tree is more than 40 cm, you need to decide on the type of crown formation.

In most cases, the crown of this culture is formed according to the sparse-tiered method, which involves 5-7 main branches located at a distance of 30 to 40 cm.

Less commonly, you can find apricot with a flattened or improved cupped crown, which is characterized by a single tiered arrangement of branches.

The crown of an apricot is most often formed as a sparse-tiered or improved tiered

Pruning an apricot tree to form a sparse-tiered crown is carried out in the following sequence:

  1. In the first year after planting, the crown is formed by cutting the whip by 1/4 part. The tree is left with 2 main branches at a distance of about 30 cm, the remaining ones are removed under the ring.
    Then the branches are shortened so that the whip is 25-30 cm higher.
  2. The following fall, 2 new branches are cut and shortened, observing the same principle of distance to the central conductor. On second-order branches, the distances are increased to 35-40 cm.
  3. In subsequent years, new branches on the main branches are also removed and shortened, increasing the distances by about 10-15 cm.
  4. The emerging branches on the center conductor should become overgrown. To do this, shoots longer than 60 cm are shortened by 1/2 part, and the short ones are left without pruning. If the branch grows above the whip, it is left, and the whip is removed under the ring.
  5. If the tree has side branches with 10-14 leaves suitable for fruiting, but they are weak and small, then they can be pinched until they get stronger and do not deviate to a horizontal position. So they will also become part of the fruiting, thinned part of the crown.

At the base of the sparse-tiered crown there should be 5-7 branches located at a distance of 30-40 cm

The method of flattening the crowns is used in a limited area of ​​the site. With the growth of the apricot tree, only 5-7 skeletal branches are left at a distance convenient for a particular garden plot.

The flattened shape of the crown suggests the presence of 5-7 main branches at close distances

The advantage of a flattened crown is that fruiting occurs very early. However, an adult tree with a flattened crown produces very low yields of poor quality.

The crown in the form of an American, or improved, bowl is created on trees with a trunk height of 65 to 75 cm.

The improved cup-shaped crown is presented in the form of a single non-tiered arrangement of branches

The technique of forming such a crown is quite simple:

  1. On the apricot tree, 3 main branches are left with an arrangement interval of about 18 cm from each other. The center conductor is cut to fit the ring.
  2. A year later, in the fall, 1 branch about 65 cm high is left on 3 branches from the first order. The remaining branches are cut under a ring, leaving 4–6 evenly distributed semi-skeletal branches.
  3. In the next autumn period, 1–2 branches are left on 6 main branches, the rest are removed. Semi-skeletal twigs are thinned out or removed so that the sun illuminates all or most of the crown.
  4. In the future, minor pruning is carried out by shortening and thinning the thickened branches.

A non-tiered apricot crown is formed with 3 main branches at a distance of about 18 cm

The main disadvantage of the crown of an improved cupped shape is the uneven development of the tree, since the branches are at a close distance. However, such an apricot bears fruit early, and the fruits grow of the highest quality.

Adjusting the density of branches

Regulatory autumn pruning helps to preserve the already formed apricot crown. This is an auxiliary process that is necessary for full fruiting. The principle of regulating pruning is that all thickening branches that have grown inside the crown are removed, so that the tree is well illuminated by the sun and the skeletal branches are not overloaded with new shoots.

Regulatory pruning trims all thickening branches to improve the illumination of the tree

Rejuvenating old apricots

With improper care of the apricot or its absence, the growth of shoots in adult trees (over 5 years old) stops. However, the regenerative capacity of this culture is good: one rejuvenating pruning is enough, and the growth of branches will increase.

The main purpose of anti-aging pruning is to prolong the fruiting period.

In the fall, anti-aging pruning is done as follows:

  1. Identify the oldest branches or those that do not bear fruit. Saw off several of them with a saw at an angle of about 45 degrees.
  2. Find the most powerful shoots that have appeared relatively recently. Remove all or a few branches that grow randomly up on them.

After the procedure, all the vitality of the tree will be spent on the growth of the remaining shoots and the formation of new ones.

It is worth noting that it is recommended to cut old wood not at one time, but gradually, over several years. Otherwise, the tree may weaken or even die.

Rejuvenating pruning is done on old or heavily thickened apricot trees


Features of anti-aging pruning

The climatic zone of apricot cultivation plays an important role in the selection of specific pruning dates. Spring pruning activities are carried out before the start of sap flow:

  • in the southern regions, in the Kuban, in the Astrakhan and Rostov regions - in early - mid-March.
  • in the central regions - from the third decade of March to mid-April.
  • in the northern regions - from mid to late April.

Autumn pruning is recommended until the air temperature drops below 80C. In the south, it is recommended to carry out procedures from October 15 to November 10, in the center - in the first half of October.

Gardeners of the Urals, Siberia and other northern regions prefer not to carry out the procedure in the fall, carrying out sanitary and formative pruning in the spring. This is due to the high probability of freezing of fruit trees.

The apricot pruning technique itself does not have significant regional differences. True, some experts recommend eliminating the pruning of branches on the ring in areas with severe winters, for example, in Siberia. In their opinion, such manipulation undermines the health of the tree, which is already difficult to survive in difficult Siberian conditions.

The graceful columnar apricot also needs pruning. Without this procedure, the plant will lose its decorative appearance, the crown will become spreading and only the direction of fruit growth will remind of its belonging to the columnar.

The columnar apricot is easily recognizable by its shape, which cannot be preserved without annual pruning.

The objectives of pruning a tree of this variety are the same as those of pruning ordinary apricots. But special attention is paid to the formation of a tiered crown in the form of a column. To do this, during spring planting, a one-year-old seedling is cut as follows:

  1. The main trunk is shortened to 80–90 cm.
  2. If there are side shoots, then almost all of them are cut into a ring.
  3. Leave 2–3 vertically directed branches, which are cut in half so that the length of the central conductor is 20–25 cm longer.

In the summer, you will need to remove all competitive shoots formed at an acute angle.

Subsequent annual adjustment of the shape will consist in pruning 3-4 main branches, which will then branch out. At the same time, it is recommended to keep the distance between them at 35–40 cm.

In a few years of pruning, the style of wood is created in this way. The further task of the procedure will be to maintain growth processes by shortening part of the branches to 15–20 cm in length. Also, old branches are cut off, on which fruits are no longer tied.

So, pruning a fruit tree is not an easy procedure and requires effort and time. But remember that by performing this preventive procedure, you will not only greatly facilitate the care of the tree in the future, but also get a generous harvest and an aesthetic garden.


Watch the video: Dont Prune Fruit Trees Until You Watch This - Raintree