Fruit Trees Pruning - 26. February 2018
Hélène is our new intern, spending some months in our company to prepare for her horticulture degree at HEPIA. Last week she's done a beautiful job in pruning all our plum trees and she explained us what are the best things to look for.
The regular pruning of fruit trees is important because it allows to produce fruits of better quality and to keep a vigorous tree. The pruning is usually done during the winter, between December and March, when the trees are still at rest.
To guide you, here are some basic principles:
1) Keep in mind that the purpose of pruning is to bring light back to the center of the tree.
2) The more a shoot is raised towards the sky, the more vigorous it is, and the less likely it is for it to make buds. This type of shoot takes a lot of energy from the tree and competes with others. All these "erect shoots" going towards the interior of the crown are imperatively suppressed. All the others of this type are to be shortened above a bud leaving towards the outside of the crown.
3) Being able to distinguish between fruit, frame or competitive branch is fundamental because without fruit branches there would be no yield. You can give up cutting a branch because it is a fruit branch, but that shoud be cut if it had been a competitive one. It is a matter of taking the time to observe the tree and its branches.
4) Cut the fruit branches that grow into each other at the top of the crown.
5) Avoid forks / separations at the end of twigs. Rather favor one and remove the other (s) in order to concentrate the flow of sap in one branch.
6) Pruning is not an exact science, there are as many pruning methods as cutters :-)