Basics of pruning fruit and ornamental species


If you seriously decide to get a garden, then you should not let things take their course — plants left to themselves are like homeless children: if you don’t pay attention in time, correcting mistakes will be extremely painful.


Pruning trees with a competent professional approach brings invaluable benefits to fruit trees, increasing the fruiting of fruit varieties and strengthening their core..

The lack of pruning during the formation of a young fruit tree can lead to clogging of its crown with “extra” branches that prevent the development of fruit-bearing ones, the penetration of sunlight, the weakening of the tree skeleton, and difficulty in harvesting.

DFor ornamental plants, this procedure is carried out in order to formation of external contours: increase in density and change in the shape of the crown. Knowing the methods of formation and development of the crown of shrubs, you can create whole green sculptures, or at least give shape and splendor to a hedge.

Having studied the basic methods of pruning trees and the timing of its implementation, you can influence the formation of the fruit-bearing properties of young trees, improve the yield of old ones and give unusual shapes to green and flowering shrubs. There are several types of pruning.

Formative pruning of trees applied mainly to young trees and ornamental shrubs in the first five years of growth. Its purpose is to form the stem skeleton of a plant in order to improve the fruiting of fruit trees and give more decorative effect to shrubs and deciduous trees.

Rejuvenating tree pruning aims to restore the tone of fruit trees, whose productivity and flowering after 2-3 crops has noticeably deteriorated, as well as to preserve old deciduous ornamental trees and shrubs. The reason for anti-aging pruning is a decrease in growth activity, when young shoots grow no more than 15-20 cm, which indicates the attenuation of apical growth. Pruning for the purpose of rejuvenation is carried out once every 3-4 years.

pruning to reduce height and increase productivity is aimed at thinning the crown in order to improve the light regime, helps to increase the productivity of fruit trees and facilitates harvesting from them.

Sanitary pruning of trees is applied mainly to neglected individuals, relieves plants of root shoots, dried, diseased, competing and top branches, as well as drooping branches in the lower part of the crown.

After sanitary pruning, as a rule, they resort to rejuvenating pruning, but this procedure is carried out in stages, over several years, since if a large number of thick branches (more than 25%) are immediately removed from the tree, its skeleton will be significantly weakened.


AUTUMN-WINTER pruning of trees and shrubs is carried out from the moment of leaf fall until bud break, when the plant itself is at rest. If we talk about calendar dates, then in autumn it is the month of November, and in winter — the end of February, but pruning can also be done during the winter thaws, the lower temperature threshold is -80C, in more severe frosts, the wood becomes too brittle.

SPRING-SUMMER pruning takes place during the growing season when trees and shrubs are in a state of active growth. In spring, pruning is done before swelling and bud break — this procedure stimulates the growth of young shoots. At the time of bud formation, this procedure should be stopped. Summer pruning of trees, on the contrary, significantly slows down the growth of young shoots, making it possible to enhance the fruit-bearing properties of fruit trees.


Gardeners have long noticed the relationship between the phases of the moon and the development of plants, which, of course, can be ignored, but would it not be better to direct new knowledge to interaction with nature. So, for example, on the days of the New Moon and Lunar eclipses, the garden must be given rest and no work should be carried out.

From the point of view of the lunar calendar, pruning of fruit trees and shrubs, aimed at increasing productivity, is carried out in the spring:
  • with a waning moon on the days of Fruits, when the moon is in the sign of Aries, Sagittarius;
  • with a young Moon in the sign of Scorpio.
  • Formative and sanitary pruning of fruit and deciduous trees (shrubs) should be carried out in the following periods:
  • the day before the New Moon and the day after it;
  • in the third quarter of the lunar phase, if the goal of pruning is growth retardation;
  • when the waning moon is in Taurus, Virgo;
  • when the waning moon is in Cancer, if the purpose of pruning is to expand the branches in breadth;
  • when the waning moon is in the sign of Leo — sanitary pruning for the winter.


Thin branches are cut with a pruner or garden knife, the cut from which will turn out to be smooth and heal quickly.

It is better to cut branches with a thickness of two centimeters in diameter with a hacksaw, after which clean the irregularities with a knife, treat the open saw cuts with a disinfectant solution, then with a garden pitch or oil paint.

When working with a saw, first they file the lower part of the branch (by 1/3), then work continues from above — this eliminates breaking off the branch and exposing (removing part of the bark) hemp.

When choosing a tool, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the maximum allowable diameter of pruned branches.

It is clear that during such processing, the mass of wood is lost, for the formation of which the tree spent a lot of energy. But pruning is indispensable if the plant is neglected and it is necessary to restore or enhance its fruit-bearing properties.

The entire tool must be well sharpened and clean — smooth cuts tighten faster and do not “get sick”.


When working with fruit trees, two methods of pruning are most often used.:

  • on the ring — cut out the entire branch, which makes neighboring branches stronger;

  • for branching — shorten the branch to a branch or bud, which strengthens the pruned branch.

It is clear that during such processing, the mass of wood is lost, for the formation of which the tree spent a lot of energy. But pruning is indispensable if the plant is neglected and it is necessary to restore or enhance its fruit-bearing properties.

Growing ornamental species involves another option — pruning «on a stump«. The trunk of a tree or shrub is cut to a height of not more than 15 cm from root neck, thereby provoking the growth of several side shoots. This method is used:
  • when forming a trellis fence in order to obtain, instead of one upright trunk, two inclined in opposite directions (extra ones are removed),
  • to give the bush a spherical shape — subsequently, the branches on each of the new shoots are encouraged to branch, and the crown is cut in the shape of a ball.

Knowing the principle of plant development (apical dominance), you can control the growth of the young and achieve the desired result. In a nutshell, its essence is this:

  • on any branch, two apical buds are most developed — they receive a maximum of vitality, new strong shoots grow from them;
  • if apical buds are removed during dormancy plants, their functions will be transferred to nearest kidneys and the strongest shoots will grow from them;
  • if during growth delete shootsgrown from apical buds, then from all bud branches will begin to develop equivalent shoots.

Now you know how and when you can prune to form strong branches and prune to grow the branch wide.


OLD FRUIT Trees can be encouraged to improve fruiting by thinning their crowns. But it is important to do this operation in several stages (over several years, since it will be necessary to cut a large number of large branches in order to increase the access of sunlight and the flow of nutrients to the fruit-bearing branches. First, sanitary pruning is carried out, then rejuvenating.

For fruit trees that have stopped growing, it is necessary to determine when growth was retarded. An indicator of 30-40 cm per year is considered normal, a lower indicator (up to 25 cm) signals a fading of growth. Inspect one of the adult branches of the tree and, using the segments from one branch to the next (this is an annual growth), determine the place where the growth has decreased to the boundary value (30 cm).

Choose a strong side branch in this place — in the absence of a strong one, take a weak one as a basis and cut the branch to it. The rest of the branches can no longer be examined so carefully — just trim at about this level.

In case of YOUNG FRUIT trees can prevent the formation of «extra» branches, if you know the principle of their development.

To begin with, a future crown is formed in a young tree — there are several types of it, but the horizontal arrangement of fruit-bearing branches, the so-called. palmette. This type of crown is good for everyone: both high-quality uniform lighting, and such a position of the branches in which the fruits are approximately at the same level, which greatly facilitates their collection. But palmette formation is applied mainly to low-stem varieties.

More suitable for taller longline sparse crown.

They begin the procedure by determining the height of the trunk — for a young tree it is 50 cm — everything below this level is cut out “on a ring”. From the branches located at the same level above the trunk, three main branches are determined, located approximately at the same distance from each other — competing branches are cut out “on a ring”, the weak ones are left.

The main branches are shortened to the same length and bent to a horizontal position. The vertically located conductor (top) is left — the next tiers will develop on it. In the case of the palmette, the top is cut off and the formation of the crown in subsequent years is transferred to the horizontal plane (lateral fouling of branches).

To obtain a sparse-tiered crown, a year later, on this tree at a distance of half a meter from the lower tier, another branch that is promising in bud formation is selected and left as the upper tier — both tiers are cut to the same distance, if the conductor is too long — it is shortened to 25 cm.

In subsequent years, one more tier is formed — in total, the height of the tree should be 2.5-3 m. At the end of the formation of the crown, the conductor is trimmed — further efforts will be directed to the formation of lateral branches and regulation of crown illumination.

The above methods of forming a low but lush crown are also applicable to most ornamental trees.

IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW. Before proceeding with the trimming procedure, ask if this method is suitable for a particular species. After all, some fruit trees have their own characteristics of development and fruiting. And beautifully flowering species can lose their decorative effect in the year of pruning.


If shrubs are planted to form a hedge, then in the same year they must also be cut (this rule does not apply only to late autumn planting).

The first pruning is carried out in the spring to a height of 15-20 cm (for most types of shrubs, except for conifers and dwarfs), while it does not matter that the planted plants are much larger than this height.

The next pruning is carried out in the summer, when young growths begin to lignify — in half of them, the annual growth is shortened to 20 cm.

The next year, in the spring, these same overgrown branches are shortened to 3-7 cm, leaving two developed buds each. All subsequent years, pruning is carried out according to the same principle — in the spring, the second half of the growth is shortened to 20 cm with repeated pruning in the summer. And so — until the planned height is reached, after this threshold, the growth length is left minimal — 2-10 cm.

There are several traditional hedge trimming shapes: rectangular, trapezoidal, and elliptical. The best option for a private garden would be a trapezoid, in which the lower part in profile is somewhat wider than the upper one — thus achieving the best illumination and, as a result, a uniform density of the living fence.

At a young age, hedges are sheared 1-2 times during the growing season (from the beginning of sap flow to foliage shedding). Pruning of adult bushes is carried out with a frequency of up to 4-6 times, and for slow-growing plants this procedure is reduced to 3 times during the spring-autumn period.

The key to beautiful dense foliage in a green fence is pruning, which causes the lower foliage of the bush. Consider this method using the example of a two-row hedge.

Rice. 1 light pruning at the time of planting, slowing the growth of the upper part of the bush.

Rice. 2 a year later, the first shaping pruning is carried out, causing the active development of side shoots.

Fig. 3 after two years, molding pruning is carried out slightly higher than the previous level, thus reaching the maximum leaf density due to the development of lateral shoots.

Rice. 4 in the third year of hedges give the final decorative form.


Just like fruit trees, old shrubs need rejuvenation — the same principle applies here: phased (in several seasons) thinning and strong pruning in several stages (the diagram is presented on the right).

CUTTING BEAUTIFUL FLOWERING SHRUBS — the most nuanced type of cropping. Here it is important to first determine the principle of shrub growth, and then proceed with the procedure.

All flowering shrubs can be conditionally divided into three groups.

The FIRST group includes those shrubs, the growth of which is carried out by lengthening the existing branches along the entire perimeter of the bush. The formation of shoots from the lower part of the crown in such shrubs is minimal. Such shrubs include lilac, viburnum, barberry, shadberry, magnolia, hibiscus, etc. The formation of the skeleton of young plants of this group occurs in the first years: several strong branches are left, and weak and incorrectly located shoots are removed. Pruning of adults in this group is reduced to the removal of damaged, dry and diseased branches.

The SECOND group includes shrubs, the inflorescences of which are formed on last year’s shoots — they cannot be cut. In this case, they proceed as follows: after flowering, faded branches are subject to pruning, and the young growth of the current year (only the best strong branches) is left to form the next year’s crown. Weak shoots and old branches (the fourth part) are pruned to give room for the formation of new ones and provoke more abundant flowering.

This group includes hydrangea, Japanese kerria, some (early flowering) species of speria, forsythia, three-lobed almonds, etc. The flowering of these shrubs occurs mainly in spring and early summer, and young seedlings are moved to the garden no later than 2-3 years of age.

Shrubs of the THIRD group form inflorescences on the shoots of the current year. In order to cause their abundant flowering in summer and early autumn, shrubs of this group are heavily pruned in early spring, which causes rapid growth of young shoots. But only individuals older than 2-3 years are subjected to strong pruning, since before this age the formation of the root system takes place. Pruning is carried out to the lower developed bud of the growth of the current year. If you do not prune this group of shrubs, then the plants will quickly acquire a neglected, sluggishly flowering appearance. In this group of shrubs, one can find tree and panicle hydrangea, late-flowering varieties of spirea, etc.


The key to comfortable work and saving time is the purchase of a brush cutter for the formation of hedges. This tool is presented in three types of food. The characteristic of any tool «with a motor» is its power. Brush cutters are no exception to the rule — the higher the power, the better the cut, in any case, a small «traction» increases the risk of «chewing» the thick branches of the bush.

Among the professional tools include pruning shears with a PETROL engine. Working with this device requires skill and physical effort, but it is necessary for an amateur gardener only if the garden is large, scattered throughout the site and represented by a large number of topiary forms (figuratively cut bushes) and hedges.

Scissors with ELECTRIC DRIVE have established themselves as a more affordable option in terms of price and weight category. This tool is most suitable for compact landings due to the fact that it requires a power point. The inconvenience when working with an electric brush cutter can be called the need to ensure that the wire does not fall under the working blade, but in terms of power-price-quality ratio it has no equal. The tool is light enough to be operated by a woman.

CORDLESS hedge trimmers combine the lightness of electric and the mobility of gasoline. They are optimal for a small private garden with scattered landscape architecture. A big plus is the presence of interchangeable nozzles for giving various shapes and a telescopic handle for processing high hedges. There is only one drawback — the low power of some models may not be able to cope with thick branches. But for most green fences, this problem is irrelevant, due to the lack of such.

What else to read on the site:

Create a beautiful garden without the hassle — the task is quite feasible. The only question is the correct initial approach to the issue at the planning stage. And here, first of all, one should immediately discard all unnecessary, although very attractive ideas and dwell on the main thing — rational …

Compost and composters — an important detail

Composting on your own plot is a great opportunity to get rid of garden debris and, at the same time, prepare valuable organic fertilizer. Well, especially practical owners also manage to grow early vegetables on a compost heap.

Cesspool — cottage with comfort

When the choice arises: a septic tank or a pit, there can be no definite answer. For example, I always collect complete information on the topic under consideration, then I write in two columns the pros and cons of each option. If there is a “draw”, I start counting the material costs. This is the way to…

Summer kitchen — not only barbecue

Who said that the summer kitchen is an exclusively country attribute? Just imagine what it’s like to do canning and other summer preparations indoors in a «home» kitchen. And what about the constant picnics and just receiving guests in a private house?


Добавить комментарий