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Pruning fruit trees. Types of pruning and general information

Pruning fruit trees. Types of pruning and general information

When starting to prune fruit trees, the gardener must remember that every cut must be grounded. If in doubt, it is better not to touch the tree at all.

Before we start looking at the different tree crowns and how to prune them, let's get acquainted with a special terminology, knowledge of which will be useful to gardeners.

Some terms speak for themselves, such as "annual" or "scion". Others require more detailed explanation.


Skeletal branches of the first order (SVPP) - branches extending from the trunk.

Skeletal branches of the second order are branches extending from the SVPP.

The central conductor or leader is the upper part of the trunk, its continuation.

A competitor is a lateral shoot located in close proximity with an increase in the continuation of the guide (leader).

Overgrowing branches - short side branches on which flower buds are laid and the main crop is formed. They either grow naturally or are stimulated by special pruning. Flower buds develop into flowers, and growth buds develop into shoots.

Basal shoots - shoots growing either from the roots or from the trunk, but below the graft site.

Overgrown branches of an apple tree

Pruning fruit trees

1st photo - Annual apple tree. Above the vaccination site - the scion, below - rootstock. Side branches on a one-year-old are called premature. 2nd photo - Leaderless form of low-stemmed apple tree

1st photo - Fruit twigs on a three to four year old branch. 2nd photo -Side branches. Above is an annual branch with growth kidneys; below - a two-year branch with growth and flower

Pruning apple and pear

Apple (Malus domestica) and pear (Pyris communis) are suitable for almost any garden.

In small orchards, apple and pear are preferably grown on a low to medium stem.

The tree can be shaped like a vase, cordon, palmette, or pyramid.

Cordon is one of the decorative forms of the tree crown. This shape can have one trunk (one-armed cordon) or several, formed vertically or at an angle. It is characterized by the absence of branching. Thanks to this compact growth, cordons can be planted very densely.

A dwarf pyramid is best defined as a free-growing vertical cordon. It is easier to grow than a heavily trimmed cordon.

Palmette can be viewed as a series of horizontal cordons on one tree.

Low bole

1st photo - Low-cut shape with a center conductor. The vertically growing trunk forms branches throughout length. 2nd photo - Leaderless low-standard form. From the trunk branches diverge 0.6 m high. This form sometimes called vase

Cordon and Pyramid

1st photo - Single cordons tied to supports fixed on the wire at an angle of 45 °. 2nd photo - Dwarf pyramid with a central conductor and freely growing side branches.


Palmette with four tiers of horizontal branches carrying overgrown twigs

Used material from the book by K. Brickell "Pruning plants"

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