Pruning fruit trees is a technique that is employed by gardeners to control growth, remove dead or diseased wood or stimulate the formation of flowers and fruit buds. Westcliff-on-Sea is a Village and Seaside resort in the south-east of England within the borough and Unitary authority of Southend-on-Sea Essex is a county in the East of England. The County town is Chelmsford, and the highest point of the county is Chrishall Common England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland A flower, also known as a bloom or Blossom, is the reproductive structure found in Flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also In Botany, a bud is an undeveloped or embryonic Shoot and normally occurs in the Axil of a Leaf or at the tip of the stem The most economical pruning is done early in the season, when buds begin to break, and one can pinch off the soft tissue with one's fingers (hence the expression "nipped in the bud"). For other uses of the term "Pruning" see Pruning (disambiguation. Many home fruit growers make the mistake of planting a tree, then neglecting it until it begins to bear. But careful attention to pruning and training young trees will ultimately determine their productivity and longevity. Good pruning and training will also prevent later injury from weak crotches that break under snow or fruit load.
To obtain a better understanding of how to prune plants properly, it is useful to have some underlying knowledge of how pruning works, and how it affects the way in which plants grow.
Plants form new tissue in an area called the meristem, located near the tips of roots and shoots, where active cell division takes place. A meristem is a tissue in all Plants consisting of undifferentiated cells ( meristematic cells) and found in zones of the plant where growth can take place Meristem growth is aimed at ensuring that leaves are quickly elevated into sunlight, and that roots are able to penetrate deeply into the soil. Soil, often typeset as SOiL, is a four piece rock band from Chicago Illinois United States founded by Shaun Glass Tom Schofield Tim King and Adam Zadel Once adequate height and length is achieved by the stems and roots, they will begin to thicken to give support to the plant. On the shoots, these growing tips of the plant are known as apical buds. The apical meristem (or tip) produces the growth hormone auxin, which not only promotes cell division, but also diffuses downwards and inhibits the development of lateral bud growth which would otherwise compete with the apical tip for light and nutrients. A meristem is a tissue in all Plants consisting of undifferentiated cells ( meristematic cells) and found in zones of the plant where growth can take place Auxins are a class of Plant growth substance (often called Phytohormone or Plant hormone) Removing the apical tip and its suppressive hormone allows the lower dormant lateral buds to develop, and the buds between the leaf stalk and stem produce new shoots which compete to become the lead growth.
Manipulating this natural response to damage (known as the principle of apical dominance) by processes such as pruning (as well as coppicing and pollarding) allows the horticulturist to determine the shape, size and productivity of many fruiting trees and bushes. Coppicing is a traditional method of Woodland management in which young tree stems are cut down to near ground level Pollarding is a Woodland management method of encouraging lateral branches by cutting off a tree stem or minor branches two or three metres above ground level The main aim when pruning fruit trees is usually to obtain a decent crop of fruit rather than a tree with an abundance of lush yet unproductive foliage. Unpruned trees tend to produce large crops of small, worthless fruit often damaged by pests and diseases, and much of the crop is out of reach at the top of the tree. Branches can become broken by the weight of the crop, and the cropping may become biennial (that is, only bearing fruit every other year). A biennial plant is a flowering Plant that takes two years to complete its lifecycle. Overpruned trees on the other hand tend to produce light crops of large, flavourless fruit that does not store well. Pruning is therefore carried out to achieve a balance between shoot growth and fruit production.
Formative pruning of apple (Malus pumila) and pear (Pyrus communis) trees (the pome fruits; the stone fruits such as cherries, plums, gages, etc. The apple is the pomaceous Fruit of the apple tree Species Malus domestica in the Rose family Rosaceae. A pear is a pomaceous Fruit produced by a tree of Genus Pyrus. In botany a pome (after the Latin name for an Apple: pomum) is a type of Fruit produced by Flowering plants in the Subfamily Prunus is a Genus of Trees and Shrubs including the Plums cherries, Peaches Apricots and This article is about the Cherry berry also classified as fruit for the ornamental tree See Cherry Blossom. A plum or gage is a stone fruit Tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. , have different requirements and should not be pruned during the dormant months) should be carried out during the dormant winter months between November and March (or June and September in the southern hemisphere) and during the early years of the tree's life to develop a strong framework capable of bearing the weight of the crops that will be borne in later years. Winter is one of the four Seasons of Temperate zones Calculated astronomically, it begins on the Solstice and ends on the Equinox This involves hard pruning, although in later years pruning will be lighter and carried out to encourage fruiting.
One year old tree
Two year old tree
Three year old tree
Four year old tree
A maiden whip (that is, a one year old tree with no side shoots) should be pruned to a bud with two buds below it at about 80 cm from the ground immediately after planting to produce primary branches during the first growing season. A feathered maiden (that is, a one year old tree with several side branches) should have its main stem pruned back to three or four strong shoots at 80 cm from the ground. Side shoots should be shortened by two thirds of their length to an upward or outward facing bud. Lower shoots should be removed flush with the stem. ok.
Remove any lower shoots and prune between three and five of the best placed shoots by half to an upwards or outwards facing bud to form what will become the tree's main structural branches. Remove any inwards facing shoots.
Prune the leading shoots of branches selected to extend the framework by half to a bud facing in the desired direction. Select four good laterals to fill the framework and shorten these by a half. Prune any remaining laterals to four buds to form fruiting spurs.
The tree will have begun to fruit and only limited formative pruning is now required. Shorten leaders by one third and prune laterals not required to extend the framework to four buds.
The tree is considered to be established and should be annually pruned as described in
Before pruning it is important to distinguish between spur bearing and tip bearing varieties. The former, which is the most common type, bear most of their fruit on older wood, and include apples such as Cox's Orange Pippin, James Grieve and Sunset, and pears such as Conference, Doyenne du Commice and Williams Bon Chretien. Tip bearers on the other hand produce most of their fruit buds at the tips of slender shoots grown the previous summer, and include the apples Worcester Pearmain and Irish Peach, and the pears such as Jargonelle and Josephine de Malines. There are basically three types of pruning that are applied once the main shape of the tree has been established. These are:
Tip bearers should be pruned lightly in winter using the regulatory system (see above). any maiden shoots less than 25 cm in length should be left untouched as they have fruit buds at their tips. Longer shoots are spur pruned to prevent over-crowding and to stimulate the production of more short tip bearing shoots the following year. Branch leaders are 'tipped', removing the top three or four buds to a bud facing in the desired direction to make them branch out and so produce more tip bearing shoots.