Pruning cherries in the fall is a necessary and important procedure for preparing a tree for winter. It helps prevent plant diseases, boost immunity and promote abundant fruiting in the next season.
Thanks to pruning, a beautiful crown is formed, productivity increases, frosts are more easily tolerated, and the risk of developing diseases is reduced
Pruning is one of the most important cherry care activities. The main purpose of the procedure performed in the fall is to free the tree from old branches affected by diseases. Together with them, bacteria, spores of fungi and insects are removed, which excludes the possibility of wintering of pests, pathogenic microflora and plant damage in the next season.
Pruning also allows you to form the crown, prevent thickening. The tree freed from excess branches rejuvenates and, as a result, gives more fruits in the next season.
Only the seedlings of the first year of life do not need autumn pruning: their immunity is still undeveloped, and after the procedure, young trees risk not withstanding during severe frosts. In the future, branches are removed annually, since old, diseased branches will infect the tree and take away its strength.
Mature trees are pruned every 2-3 years, young trees - annually until the ideal crown is achieved.
When pruning cherries, keep the pruner sharp
The timing of pruning depends on the climatic conditions of the particular region. The main indicator is leaf fall, which indicates that the sap flow in the plant has ended, and cutting off the branches will not harm it. But it is important to be in time before the onset of frost. If the cut sites do not have time to drag out before winter, the tree will suffer. Recommended timing by region:
The procedure is best timed to coincide with favorable days according to the lunar calendar 2019:
Disinfect tools before pruning
Interested in how to properly prune cherries in the fall, do not forget that only high-quality sharp instruments are needed for the procedure. In order not to infect the tissue of the tree, they are pre-disinfected. Experienced gardeners are advised to prepare the following inventory:
It is convenient to cut branches that are at a considerable height with a lopper.
The tree is trimmed in two ways:
Each tree needs both pruning methods. General scheme of the procedure:
It is better not to cut small shoots, they are left on the tree until spring. When the branch is completely removed, a stump about 5 cm high is left near the trunk.
Pruning is carried out exclusively in dry weather, otherwise there is a risk of developing infections. If, according to forecasts, frosts are outlined in the coming days, it is better to postpone the procedure until spring.
Cherry pruning: 1 - strong pruning; 2- pruning to a side branch; 3 - decimation
Thinning the crown of different types of cherries has its own characteristics:
All branches thickening the crown of the tree must be removed
The pruning technology depends not only on the type and type of wood, but also on its age:
Treating cuts after pruning will help prevent tree infections
After completing all the pruning activities, they rake and burn garbage from under the tree to prevent the spread of infection and pests. Then the novice gardener should carry out the following procedures:
Long-term observations have confirmed that autumn pruning helps cherries survive severe frosts and increases their yield.
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Among the qualities that attract gardeners to cherries is early ripening. This culture grows rapidly and bears fruit. But such an advantage turns into a minus - cherries are losing productivity no less rapidly. This rapidly aging tree needs regular pruning - if you ignore it, the cherry dies ahead of time.
Garden tools must be of high quality and safe to use. To carry out work on pruning trees, use:
Garden supplies must be kept clean after work, this will reduce the likelihood of transmission of the disease from an infected tree to a healthy one. Another important condition is that the tools must be sharp in order to cut the branches neatly and without chipping.
Working with gardening gloves will protect your hands from injury. It is advisable to use latex, tarp or leather gloves.
The sooner the wounds heal, the faster the tree will recover and successfully overwinter. This will help not only a sharp tool that leaves even cuts and thereby promotes rapid healing, but also special tools - garden varnish or putty. Apply them to large sections with a brush or toothbrush.
Then remove branches, leaves and other debris from the trunk circle and burn it. If you don't want to burn branches, you can make cute crafts out of them. Just do not put it in the compost so that other plants can avoid disease and pests.
Carefully dig up the soil to a depth of 15 cm, loosen it, and then water the plants abundantly (10 liters of water per 1 square meter for each year of the tree's life). To protect against pests and diseases, spray the soil with a 5% urea solution.
You do not need to cover adult plants for the winter. But if in your region winters are very cold, you can mulch the trunk circle with straw, and during the winter rake snow to the trunk. Cover young trees, especially cherries, with burlap or agrofibre for the winter. It is also important to protect the plants from rodents, so whitewash tree trunks or fence in a net.
Andrey Belyaev, a practicing gardener from Kursk, gives his recommendations regarding the autumn pruning of cherries, sweet cherries, plums, cherry plums and other stone fruits.
Stone fruits cannot be cut immediately "per ring". This can cause gum flow, the bark will not tighten the wound, but, on the contrary, will begin to move away from the wood. Over time, this skeletal branch will have to be pruned to the point where it was not pruned.
It is better not to prune live branches in autumn. In autumn, I advise you to remove only dry and diseased branches. In central Russia, most stone fruits are "guests" from the South. Therefore, our cold winters are extreme stress for them. Any pruning will weaken the trees, which is best avoided before cold weather.
Stone fruits do not suffer from crown thickening, they do not need a central conductor or other specialized crown shape. When pruning, we remove only conflicting branches and sharp forks.
Sweet cherry is a tall tree with powerful growth dynamics. If pruning is done in the spring, the tree will direct all its forces towards the formation of young growth, and the yield will be low. Therefore, it is best to prune the cherries after removing the berries.
After pruning in the fall, your garden will change dramatically. Trees will look well-groomed, the risk of pests and diseases will decrease. The next pruning will need to be done in the spring and its goal will be no less important: to form a crown and increase fertility.
We also recommend that you study the materials on autumn pruning of other fruit trees.