The advantages of the cordon over other forms of trees are that this method of formation allows them to be planted very densely and the crowns are placed low to the ground, which makes it easier to care for them. Many varieties of fruit crops can be grown in the form of a cordon.
However, this is not always successful. Most mistakes are made from the gardener's misunderstanding of the issues of formation and pruning.
When forming a cordon, it is important to control growth in such a way that all parts of the tree are within arm's length. Therefore, the cordon is usually planted at an angle of 45 °, it has one trunk (one-armed). But it can be grown both vertically and as a multi-arm cordon. Apple trees and pears are usually grown in the form of inclined one-shoulder cordons.
To secure inclined cordons, it is necessary to create a system of supports from pillars and wire. On the wire at the desired angle, slats are fixed to which trees are tied during the formation process. Start by planting uncut annual apple or pear seedlings. It is unwise to plant older trees.
During dormancy, plant an uncut annual plant near a trellis and tie it to a rail. The grafting site should be above the soil level. Do not touch the center conductor, but trim all large branches into four buds.
In the first summer, pruning is no longer necessary. The fact is that, by cutting off the central conductor, you caused the formation of lateral shoots below the cut, and excessive and uneven shoots should be avoided in cordons. In addition, during trimming, the desired direction of growth of the center conductor can be violated. In addition, the strong growth of the continuation shoot can lead to the formation of a long, bare stem.
At the end of the year, the growth buds of the seedling are often transformed into flower buds, and some of them can sprout. Much depends on the stock. So, on one rootstock, the plant often forms flower buds, and on another, more vigorous rootstock, shoots. Do not touch the central conductor, cut all lateral branches into 4 buds, and the branches of the second order - into 1-2 buds, or up to 2-3 cm.
In the second year, several fruits can be set. However, with insufficient development of the fruit tree, do not allow early fruiting. Remove these premature flowers as they emerge, but in a way that does not damage the rosette of leaves. After the second year, do not touch the flowers, otherwise there will be no fruit.
As the center conductor grows, tie it to the support, observing a 45 ° angle.
Start trimming the side branches. The goal of summer pruning is to stimulate flower bud formation closer to the trunk and limit tree overgrowth. The fruits of such a tree are larger, more mature, with a good color.
Summer pruning is very simple. From mid-July onwards, shorten all unnecessary side branches, except for the lowest ones, by three normally developed leaves. Side shoots of the second order should be cut more strongly - up to 2-3 cm from their base.
Flower buds form at the end of the year, and if the tree is developing well, do not interfere with its fruiting. Do not touch the central conductor, and cut the side branches uncut in the summer into 4 buds. Flower buds are now being laid at the base of the lateral branches that were cut off last year; cut such a branch to the uppermost bud - this stimulates the regrowth of overgrown branches.
But sometimes the next year after pruning, good flower buds do not form on the side branch. In this case, cut the growing shoots of the second order to 2-3 cm. Now good flower buds will appear in another year. And repeat this pruning order every year.
As already mentioned, cordons can be formed with two, three or more arms, vertically or at an angle. The formation of a complex cordon is at first similar to the formation of the first horizontal branches of palmette. Then each trunk (shoulder) is cut off like a one-shoulder cordon. Vertical cordons, in comparison with oblique ones (at an angle of about 45 °), usually grow faster, but bear less fruit.
If an adult cordon grows very strongly, the angle of inclination should be reduced by bringing the plant closer to the ground.
Attach a new rail to the wire at an angle of 30-35 °. Untie the tree and tie it to the new support.
Tilt the tree carefully to avoid damaging the trunk.
Decreasing the angle of inclination will restrict growth while encouraging bud formation.
But if the tree continues to grow strongly, do not hesitate to do the banding.
Used material from the book by K. Brickell "Pruning plants".