Pruning old apple trees


A cultivated apple tree can successfully bear fruit for several decades. By comparison, simple wildfruits bear fruit for up to 300 years. But with competent agrotechnology, it is possible to extend the fruiting period of a cultivated apple tree. Pruning old apple trees is not the same as in the case of young trees and requires more skill.

Features pruning old apple trees

Cropped trees photo

Usually, gardeners are trying to cut the old apple trees practically “under the root” so that they start up new, young shoots. The problem is that the above-ground and underground parts of the tree are in strict correlation and not every culture will suffer such a cardinal pruning.

Important! Launched apple trees that have never been cut, usually die before those who are regularly cared for!

The rejuvenating pruning of old apple trees contributes to the growth of new pagons and, accordingly, to an increase in yield. This is the main goal of the procedure. If the tree has not been trimmed for many years and it has been around for quite a few years, the rejuvenating pruning should be carried out in stages - for several years. This will allow the tree to avoid unnecessary stress, recover faster after pruning and increase yields.

General principles

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To understand that the apple tree needs rejuvenation, that it has begun to age, it is easy to increase the lean years. In addition, the number of deciduous outlets is reduced, and the skeletal branches become bare. During the rejuvenation of the tree, its height is reduced and the crown is thinned out.

Important! Only healthy old apple trees should be rejuvenated. If the tree is sick, it must first be cured. In this case, it would be appropriate only a healthy pruning, but not rejuvenating.

Pruning of old apple trees can be done in different ways, but professionals recommend trimming some of the largest branches and leaving the young ones - those that grow outward, rather than deep into the crowns. Of course, the first thing you need to remove all dry, damaged branches, from which there is no good at all.

General pruning principles

Trimming is carried out at the very trunk, and not so that stumps are sticking out - "trimming the ring." Usually, 2-3 large branches with a diameter of more than 10 cm per year are cut, but the young pagans leave. The following year, several more thick twigs are cut off - thus, the tree has time to rehabilitate.

The branches located horizontally to the ground or have a weak angle of inclination, it is recommended to cut, because, as a rule, they do not withstand the load of fruits and break. Young branches should grow at an acute angle upwards, then there will be more good from them.

Trimming tools

Tools for trimming trees photo

Pruning of old apple trees is carried out, as in the case of any other tree with certain tools. In this case, you may need: saw, shears, lopper, knife. Also, do not interfere with the stairs, stool. Garden var and canvas patches (can be replaced with gauze) are necessary for processing cuts.

Before work, the instrument is treated for germs, and during operation it is disinfected if the sawed-off branch was diseased or diseased. All cutting materials must be sharp, well sharpened, otherwise the cuts will be uneven, and such wounds heal much longer.

After any sawing or cutting, the wound of the tree must be treated with garden pitch. If a large branch is cut down, it is worth treating the cut place with a barb and wrap it over a dark canvas cloth.

Pruning of old apple trees in spring

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Pruning of apple trees can be done in late autumn or in early spring, when sap flow is stopped and there are no leaves on the branches. This is not only useful for the tree, but also facilitates the work, because you can view the entire crown - the foliage will not interfere with this.

Important! Regardless of when you are pruning old apple trees, you need to do it evenly - the branches are cut from different sides, and not from one. Then the tree will look beautiful and the load on it will be small during fruiting.

Spring pruning of an old apple is done very early - not later than March, and better at the end of winter - when the hard frosts are over, but the trees are still sleeping. After all, the apple trees wake up very early and sap flow in them can begin before the buds swell!

Crop of apple tree in spring photo

  1. The first thing a tree inspect, identify the scale of the work. First, sick, damaged or dry branches are cut.
  2. Then you need to clear the trunk of pagons that grow deep into the crown.
  3. Thinning allows you to clear the path of the sun's rays to the very center of the crown and saturate with warmth those fruits that do not grow from the outside.
  4. The oldest branches that no longer carry a large crop are also removed.
  5. All sections are smeared with garden pitch, and the largest cuts are also wrapped with cloth. The bandage is left until the fall, so that the wound is well healed.

Apple tree pruning scheme

The picture below shows a diagram of pruning an apple tree to form a crown.

Crown formation

Trimming tops on old apple trees

Autumn Pruning Rules

Many gardeners recommend pruning old apple trees in the fall, believing that they will have time to recover during the winter and will bloom in the spring. But if circumcision is attributed to the spring, the fruit can not be obtained in the summer. Autumn pruning time falls around November, when the sap flow stops - the tree will drop foliage.

  1. As in the case of the spring procedure, first remove the damaged, dry, diseased branches.
  2. Then the tree is examined. If at some branches for the season did not appear leafy rosettes, they are also removed.
  3. Those pagons that grow incorrectly or deep into the crown should be cut down.
  4. Now you can shorten the tree a little, cutting the top, but not much!
  5. Young branches around the trunk, growing unnatural, too, cut.
  6. Wounds, cuts, cuts are treated with garden pitch.
Important! Work on pruning old apple trees in the fall must be completed before the first frost. If the cuts begin to freeze, it will lead to the development of rot!

During the autumn pruning, you should not carry out cardinal activities, otherwise in winter the tree will just freeze. Pruning of old apple trees is carried out as modestly as possible, but in the case - leaving old branches is also meaningless.

Older apple trees are usually pruned to rejuvenate the tree and maintain its fertility. Pruning can be done in the fall and spring, most importantly in time - before the movement of juices in the tree begins. Do not forget that properly pruned tree gives higher yields and less sick.