When to prune apple trees: the right dates for different seasons

To obtain high yields of apples for the tree, proper care is necessary. One of the main agricultural techniques, which allows you to change the appearance of the apple tree and the quality of the fruit, is pruning. To complete the procedure, it is important to know what time frame to carry it out.

When to prune apple trees

Actions aimed at pruning the apple tree must be performed at a time when the tree is in a sleeping state, that is, after the leaves have fallen or before the buds open. It is generally accepted that it is most safe to perform this operation in early spring . Anti-aging pruning is also recommended during this period. However, the autumn operation has its advantages: with the advent of spring, a full-fledged tree vegetation will begin without the cost of efforts to heal wounds. In summer and winter, pruning of the apple tree is also possible in order to remove fatliquoring or damaged shoots.

Zhiruyuschie shoots (tops) are formed from sleeping buds, grow strictly upright and only consume nutrients, since fruits are not formed on them.

The tops on the apple tree must be removed, because these shoots only consume nutrients

Video: in the fall or spring it is better to prune fruit trees

Pruning apple trees in spring

The timing of pruning apple trees in the spring for each region will be different and no one will tell you the exact date. Therefore, each gardener determines the timing independently, focusing on the local climate. The operation should be performed before intense sap flow begins, usually 3-4 weeks before it, and it must be completed before the kidneys swell. No need to try to trim before the specified time, because after winter the wood becomes quite fragile. If the procedure is too early, the tree will only be harmed. You need to carefully consider this event, since the desired interval passes very quickly. Trimming is carried out after a positive air temperature is established. Sometimes the operation can be carried out at temperatures up to -4 ° C. At lower rates, damage is possible due to brittle bark.

Young trees can be pruned both in spring and autumn, and old apple trees only in spring so that the wounds can heal during the season.

In spring, apple pruning is done before intense sap flow begins, and complete it before the kidneys swell

Autumn pruning apple tree

In order to avoid mistakes when trimming the crop in the fall, it is necessary to choose the right time for it. It is generally accepted that the most favorable period for this garden operation falls on September-October, when the leaves fall from the tree, the growth of the branches will stop, and the sap flow will be completed. In addition, the air temperature must be positive, but before freezing occurs, there must be at least another 2 weeks. More precise dates for each region will be different, since a lot depends on the local climate.

Pruning apple trees in summer

Sometimes gardeners have a question, is it possible to prune an apple tree in the summer? The answer is simple: at this time, gardening can be done. This is explained by the fact that the degree of thinning of the crown directly affects the fruiting period of the tree. If you perform a weak pruning, this will reduce the time for the appearance of the crop, with a strong crop, fruiting will be delayed for at least a year. In summer, the apple tree is cut approximately in the first two decades of July. This period corresponds to the end of vegetative growth, that is, when the aboveground and underground parts stop developing, and the tree is at rest. At earlier dates, the development of new shoots will begin, which will negatively affect the size of the fruit due to the smaller amount of food. In the summer, branches are removed that delay the power on themselves. To do this, young growths thickening the crown are broken out, trimmed or nipped.

In summer, the apple tree is pruned at the end of vegetative growth.

Trimming dates should not be neglected. So, if the branches are removed too early, the fruits are left without protection from sunlight, which is provided by the leaves. As a result, the risk of fruit damage by diseases and pests is increased. Sunburn occurs on apples.

If the old trees could not be cut in the fall or spring, this can be done in early June. If necessary, perform the procedure with fruiting apple trees, June is the most suitable time. In order to remove and thin out the crown, work is best done in the first half of August.

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Pruning apple trees in winter

In winter, apple trees can also be pruned, and such work during this period has its positive aspects. It is believed that February is the most suitable time, since the tree is guaranteed to be in a sleeping state and not experiencing stress. In addition, in the winter, the gardener has much less concern than at other times. Therefore, pruning can be done slowly, realizing what, why and in what sequence you need to do. In addition, when there are no leaves on the branches, it is much easier to understand what exactly needs to be removed. It should be borne in mind that the temperature during winter pruning should not be lower than -10˚С. During severe frosts, the procedure can not be performed.

In winter, young apple trees cannot be pruned.

Winter pruning of the apple tree is carried out at a temperature not lower than -10˚С

We specify the term according to the lunar calendar

The apple tree, like all living things on Earth, in its development largely depends on the lunar rhythm. The moon, as you know, goes through four phases:

  • new moon;
  • Waxing Crescent;
  • full moon;
  • waning moon.

If you adhere to the recommendations of the lunar calendar, then trimming the crop in question should be done only on the waning moon. This is explained by the fact that the sap flow during this period slows down, and the wounds received after a garden operation heal faster. You should not prune the apple tree in the full moon and new moon, as the plant will be prone to disease. If you use secateurs for the operation with the growing moon, the tree will receive severe stress. When choosing a suitable day for this event, it is necessary to take into account the season, ambient temperature and moon phase.

Timing pruning apple trees in different regions

For different climatic regions in which apple trees are successfully grown, almost the same requirements are characteristic with respect to the timing of pruning. The differences lie in specific calendar dates, which are different for each region. In addition, depending on the terrain, the pattern of formation of the crown will also differ. In this case, the procedure is performed according to the rule - "the colder the lower the crown should be located."

Pruning in the Urals and Siberia

For the Urals and Siberia, the optimal cutting time is at the time when a stable temperature is set above zero. Early pruning in these regions is undesirable, because even when processing the edges of the cut with garden varieties, it is frosty, dead, and as a result the cut will grow longer and worse.

According to the temperature graph, you can determine when a positive temperature is set in Siberia

Trimming in the suburbs and the middle lane

Winter pruning in the middle lane is quite dangerous due to the fact that frosts are unpredictable and can damage the places of cuts. There are cases when in winter, after prolonged thaws in late February or early March, a temperature drop to -20-25 ° C is possible. In this case, wounds on skeletal branches in the lower part of the tree, which are located close to the surface of the snow, are of particular danger. It is in this place that the temperature can be critical for the cut areas.

In general, pruning dates are in the following months:

  • in the south of the middle zone should focus on the end of February;
  • in the Leningrad region and Moscow region - in March.

In any case, weather conditions must be considered. The main thing is to complete the procedure before the sap flow begins.

To determine the timing of pruning apple trees in the suburbs, you can adhere to the climatic schedule for this region, but you should also pay attention to weather conditions in a particular year.

Pruning in the Crimea and Krasnodar Territory

In the south, pruning an apple tree does not cause any particular problems. Culture can be formed in various ways and at almost any time, from late autumn to early spring. In spring, the operation is carried out with the arrival of the first heat, usually in March, i.e., before the start of the growing season, swelling of the buds and the growth of new shoots.

When pruning apple trees, the deadlines must be observed depending on the season and region of its cultivation. If there is not enough experience in performing such operations, it is better to entrust this work to a professional. Thus, it will be possible to avoid errors and damage to the tree.


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