Winter pruning of fruit trees

Pruning rules for fruit trees in winter

One of the procedures for caring for fruit trees in the garden is pruning. It can be carried out not only in spring or autumn, but also in winter. In order for winter pruning to benefit and not harm the plants, it is necessary to follow certain rules when carrying out the procedure.

Objectives of winter pruning

The growth and development of fruit trees, as well as the ability to bear fruit depends largely on normal pruning. The removal of branches has the following purposes:

  1. Sanitary, promotes the health of the system: diseased, damaged shoots are cut out.
  2. Nurturing, are created in such a way as to create a proper crown in young seedlings. An even arrangement of shoots and thin – thickened shoots allows the crown to be well lit from all sides. Thanks to this, the seedlings begin to bear fruit earlier.
  3. Anti-aging, which is necessary for trees older than 10 years: old branches are removed, young shoots remain unaffected.

Spending the winter increases the yield and prolongs the life of the plant. However, there are cases when gardeners carry out winter pruning of branches to reduce the number of fruits. A bountiful harvest sometimes hurts young seedlings, whose branches can break under the weight of the fruit.

Temperature fluctuations often occur in winter – frosts alternate with thaws. As a result, tree branches are covered with an ice crust. Tools that are too long fail and undo the extra weight. Timely treatment helps prevent damage to buildings and plants nearby.


The benefits of working in the winter

In the fall, all major garden work ends and gardeners have a lot of free time. If you leave the pruning of fruit plants for the spring, it should be done quickly, in order to have time before the beginning of the sap movement. In winter, you can not rush and stretch the procedure for several days. In addition, winter is a period of rest for plants, which allows the trees to avoid a lot of stress.

5 rules for garden tree pruning in the fall

Winter pruning has a number of advantages:

  • The lack of leaves allows for more precise branch removal.
  • The free space makes drilling the plants easier;
  • The risk of infestation of cut branches is reduced, as pathogens are in hibernation.

The only disadvantage of winter work is the inability to use electric and gasoline tools during the discount. However, since there is enough time, you can use hand tools.

Work technology

Winter pruning is not terrible for frost-resistant plants. Processing begins with seed crops (apples, pears, quinces) and ends with rootstocks (cherries, plums, apricots). Fruit shrubs (gooseberries, currants, etc.) are also treated in winter.

Recommended time

Before starting work, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the weather forecast for the coming days. If a strong change in temperature is expected in the direction of cold or warming, it is better to postpone the work for some time.

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Mature trees are trimmed between January and February. The thermometer should not fall below 5-7 on the C-7. MSP temperatures increase branch brittleness and can seriously injure plants when working.

For young seedlings and shrubs, the best time is the end of winter. It is recommended to wait for temperatures to rise to 0 ° C so that young trees do not freeze. This is especially true in Siberia and the Urals, where frosts occur only in early spring. In southern latitudes, severe frosts are rare, so there you can prune fruit plants all winter months.

Necessary tools

Many gardeners use gasoline or electric saws. But using such a tool leaves lacerations on the shoots, which take a long time to heal.

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It is best to carry out pruning with a hand tool:

  • Secateurs;
  • Secateurs;
  • Small and serrated with a hacksaw.

The tools should be sharpened. The tool must be sharp. Otherwise, not only is it more difficult to cut branches, but the cut turns out wrong, which negatively affects the health of the system.

Despite the fact that in winter the percentage of infection is minimal, you should not neglect the rules of hygiene. All tools are subject to disinfection with an alcohol solution.

Basic rules for winter pruning

Before work begins, each tree is inspected to determine the type of pruning. Old, damaged, false overgrown or interfering branches are noted. Then the drives are removed.

The pruning process for fruit plants is carried out as follows:

  1. Sick, damaged branches are removed along with the drive growing at the base of the tree.
  2. Disks pointing into the crown are trimmed.
  3. The center of the crown is diluted: 25% of the total number of shoots are put at a distance.
  4. Old branches are cut above the bud and shortened by 1/3. By reducing the crown, the tree can devote all its forces to the formation of new fruit shoots.
  5. Large branches are gradually removed over several winters. If the tree is growing too fast, some branches can be removed in the summer.
  6. Pests seen on branches are removed by hand.
  7. Any growths seen on the branches must be cut off.

If this is done for the purpose of rejuvenation, a new skeleton is formed within a few years.

In the first year, branches on the southern side of the crown are cut, which reduces them to 2.5-3 meters. New shoots are also thinned.

The one presented on the site is subjected to autumn pruning without failure.

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After 2 years, this process is repeated on the northern side. This increases the frost resistance of the plant and stabilizes the fruit system.

Dwarf trees are treated according to a separate scheme. In such plants, only sanitary pruning and removal of weak shoots are carried out in winter.


Despite the absence of parasites in the winter period, plots should be treated. The use of Gartenvar at this time is impractical, as it freezes badly in the cold, does not adhere to the wood, crumbles.

Instead of Var, the cut areas are covered with paint. It is recommended to use white for processing, as it does not deform under the influence of sunlight. In addition, it is easier to find cuts with white paint in the spring.

An inexperienced gardener will also cope with the winter pruning of fruit crops. Even if small mistakes are made, they will not damage the plant. In addition, the processing of trees in winter will free up time for other work in the spring.

Pruning fruit trees (winter and spring)

Spring pruning of fruit trees

No matter how much we lurk from the natural, wondrous beauty of nature, sooner or later we have to realize that the trees and shrubs in our yard need pruning. After all, the main function of fruit trees is fruiting, and thickening the crown does not increase the harvest.

Branch pruning, if done properly, stimulates an increase in the yield of fruit crops, sanitary pruning maintains their health, protects them from diseases and pests, and anti-aging pruning plants prolongs their life.

When is the best time to prune trees?

When to prune trees to cause as little damage as possible? The best time to prune trees is from late January to early April, when the plants are dormant, sap has not yet begun to move, and the buds on the trees have not swollen. Actually, pruning can also be done from November, but there is no guarantee that frost will not hit the next day. Therefore, it is better to postpone this procedure closer to spring. As soon as the temperature in the garden rises above º8 °C and stays at this level for a few days, you can start to make both formation pruning and deseathering pruning.

The forming pruning should be done within five years of planting: the crown should be shaped so that the tree is easy to care for and sunlight enters the bush.

In subsequent years, early spring pruning of the plum tree is carried out, the purpose of which is . However, sanitary pruning in the fall will also not harm the trees if necessary.

Real spring pruning of fruit trees

Anti-aging pruning restores the slow growth of old trees and stimulates the establishment of generative buds. In addition, it is best done in late winter or early spring, and trees will begin to rejuvenate not when they are already old, but after the first two or three plantings or as soon as you notice a decline in flowering.

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Pruning tools

What tools do you need for pruning trees in the garden? Here’s a comprehensive list of tools for even the most difficult cases:

  • A saw – fuel-powered, electric or cordless;
  • Benzovodosotorese – fuel saw, capable of pruning at a height of up to 5 m without the use of ladders and stepladders;
  • Castorer, which is used when it is necessary to give the crown an unusual shape;
  • The Vesti mill for recycling crop residues;
  • Technicoresis, a modified long-strip trainer for trimming branches with a diameter of 20 to 50 mm;
  • Pneumatic chopper for cutting branches not thicker than 20 mm;
  • Saw bars;
  • Director;
  • Garden saw, modified with soda, preferably with hardened teeth;
  • Pruning knife, breaking out annual growth and cutting green shoots from young trees;
  • chisel;
  • A metal brush for cleaning wounds and cracks in the tree;
  • A wound covering agent, such as horticultural jam or rannet macaroni.

Pruning fruit trees in winter

Pruning fruit trees is quite a painful procedure, so it is best done in the winter when the trees are in a deep dormant state. What are the advantages of winter pruning?

  • First, the frozen wood is easier to see, no burrs and burrs remain.
  • Secondly, when there are no leaves, the condition of the bark on the branches is better visible, so it will be easier to determine the degree of disease or pest damage and choose a pruning technique.
  • Third, thawing and collapsing cold forms an ice crust on the trees, which increases the load, so long branches can die off, and shortening the branches helps avoid this problem.
  • Fourth, the tree, because it is in deep rest, experiences only minimal stress in the process.
  • Fifth, winter pruning can be done without haste.

Pruning begins with the ripest trees, as their ovaries awaken earlier than the leaf buds. There are years when pruning in February is justified. Apple trees are the first to be pruned, as they are the most frost-resistant trees. The best tolerated winter pruning varieties are White Bulk, Anise, Moscow Pear, Papirovka, Borovinka, Antonovka and Titovka – after pruning their yield is not reduced, and the wounds heal as quickly as they do in spring.

How to prune trees in spring

Then prune other core trees – pears, quinces, mountain ashes, and closer to spring, when the risk of the return of severe cold weather passes, stone fruit trees – plums, cherries, apricots, peaches and other fruit trees.

Winter pruning of young seedlings is carried out to reduce their yield, as high yield sometimes affects the health of the tree – the branches of the seedlings can break under the weight of the many fruits.

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It is good to rejuvenate trees that are more than 10 years old in the winter. Pruning old trees is as follows: half of the branches on the southern side are cut to the desired length, and the shoots are shortened and thinned. After two years, the same procedure is done with the northern half of the crown. Such pruning of branches does not lead to loss of frost resistance, and the tree continues to bear fruit.

To avoid frost injuries, it is necessary to use very sharp sterile tools, and the crossing places should be treated with an orchard pruner.

Pruning fruit trees in the spring

Pruning of fruit trees in the spring is carried out as soon as the snow melts. In the middle belt, pruning in March is quite common, but in places with cooler climates, pruning is preferable in April. If you did not tidy up the garden in early spring, and the condition of the trees requires it, you can prune the trees in May and even in early June, but it should be much milder than in spring, otherwise you can lose all the supply of nutrients that was directed to the tips of the previous year’s growth at this time.

There are different ways of shaping the crown of fruit trees:

  • Longline – with a well-defined longitudinal arrangement of branches. This type of crown is more suitable for heart-shaped fruit trees;
  • Low-degree – for pears, apples, cherries, apricots and plums, which grow on medium-height rootstock;
  • Leafless – for apricots;
  • Buschig – for apples, pears, quinces, plums, peaches and cherries;
  • vase-shaped or shell-shaped – for peach, cherry, apricot, some varieties of apple and pear;
  • spindle-shaped – for apples and pears with spreading crown on small and medium rootstock;
  • Fan compact – for medium and small apple trees;
  • Palmetta – for pear and apple trees of small and medium varieties;
  • Inclined palmetta – for apples and pears of medium and high varieties with strong branching;
  • Semi-flat – for industrially grown apples and pears.

The choice of crown type depends on the breed of tree and the height of its trunk, and the height of the trunk is predetermined by the growing conditions and the size of the plot. Trees with high boles (120-140 cm) can be grown on a large garden plot, but if the plot is small and the maximum number of species and varieties of fruit trees needs to be placed, you should opt for low boles (80-100 cm) or dwarf forms (trunk not more than 80 cm).

High-growing trees usually have a bowl-shaped or branched crown, while low-growing trees often have a spindle-shaped crown.

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The most common type in amateur horticulture is the free-growing crown, the size of which is somewhat limited and maintains the correct ratio between the central stalk and the skeletal branches. The central conductor should dominate all branches in length and thickness. When the head reaches the proper height to keep it from growing, prune it. Skeletal branches are formed on the trunk so that they are uniform in height and are side by side, not competing with each other. Do not take too sharp an angle away from the trunk.

Trees to prune in the garden in winter and spring

You should choose a warm, dry day to do the pruning, as rainfall is very difficult and large areas take a long time to heal. How to properly carry out the pruning of the tree? First, the apex shoot is cut off. Then the lower shoots are trimmed at all forks, removed from the two crossing branches that grow in the wrong direction, cut branches that are on the trunk, tops, young growth, growth of branches near the shoot, which grow thickening branches and root growth. But first it is necessary to sanitize all broken, frostbitten, pest- and disease-infested branches and shoots.

One day after pruning, all areas that are more than 7 mm in diameter should be treated with garden varnish, paste or yellow sound mixed with cowpea.

Pruning ornamental trees

The longevity and degree of ornamentality of trees largely depend on how timely pruning is done, and conditions are closely related to the biological cycle of plants, species and flower characteristics.

Tree and shrub plants, flowering on the shoots of the previous year in winter or spring, are pruned immediately after flowering, and in the first half of summer they form new foils for flowering.

Ornamental woody plants that form flowers on the current year’s shoots are cut in the fall or early spring, with the fall cut preferable to the spring one.

How to trim trees in the garden in spring and winter

Sanitary pruning of ornamental trees is carried out according to the same rules as harvesting of fruit trees: remove accumulators, forks, forks and shoots growing in the crown or at an acute angle, and thicken the crown. This restores the crown shape characteristic of the variety and shortens the shoots to the level of the previous year.

But the pruning of the weeping form of ornamental trees Candelabra is called so that it takes the form of an umbrella. This crown formation technique is used for pruning birch, mountain ash, yellow acacia and mugbill rain trees.

Make sure that you cut above the fully developed vegetative part rather than the flowering part: The cut should start at the back at the base of the bud and end above the tip of the bud.

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