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With age, the apple tree can begin to bear fruit exclusively on the upper part of the crown, and the yield of the plant is greatly reduced. To restore it and bring the fruit tree in order, you should rejuvenate the apple tree, which involves a strong pruning, unloading and lightening of the tree crown. Carrying out such a procedure enhances the growth of the tree and makes it younger in terms of crop formation.
Signs of aging apple trees and the appointment of rejuvenation
Violation of the interaction of the root system and the aerial part contributes to the appearance of the first signs of fruit tree aging on the apical part of shoots, which have the greatest distance from the roots of the plant. Further, the branches of the higher order are aging, and then changes are observed in the root system and the aerial elevation.
The aging of the apple tree occurs in several stages:
- Change of period of steady and active growth and fruiting for a period of progressive growth with a weakening of the growth of skeletal branches and the death of fouling branches.
- Partial cessation of skeletal branch growth and a complete cessation of the development of shortened growths and leafy outlets. Skeletal branches are exposed in the area from the base to the periphery of the crown, which minimally affects yield, but affects the taste and appearance of the fruit. In addition, there may be an alternation of productive and lean years.
- Complete cessation of skeletal branch growth and the dying off of overgrown branches with the loss of quality indicators of fruits.
- Total death aerial parts of the fruit tree with the death of the root system of the plant.
The purpose of rejuvenating the apple tree is clear to most gardeners who cultivate these fruit trees on sites for a long time. The rejuvenating pruning of an old apple tree helps maintain a high level of yield. Moreover, the quality of the fruit does not deteriorate. First of all, old as well as diseased branches of the tree should be removed, which prevents plant diseases. Also, high-quality pruning forms the crown of an apple tree, and adjusting the height can greatly facilitate the process of harvesting and caring for trees.
Ways to rejuvenate an old tree
Before choosing a method and proceeding to the direct pruning of a fruit tree, a thorough inspection of the plant should be carried out. Most often on the old apple tree you can observe a significant amount of extra shoots, and on the lower part of the trunk there is a lot of basal shoots.
For the work required: secateurs with long handles, a hacksaw, a garden var and a stepladder.
How to rejuvenate an apple tree
Decreased Apple Crown
The technique of reducing the crown involves cutting out the stem of a fruit tree and a pair of thick branches growing upward. This method helps open the inside of the crown to sunlight. The top of the crown is to be trimmed at a height of two meters from the female located at the very bottom. Trimming at the top of the topmost bitches is also carried out and their translation into branching in the second order. The best is the location on the sides of the maternal branches.
To increase the illumination of the inner part of the crown should be thinning. This procedure increases the longevity of fruit branches and improves the laying of flower buds, as well as fruit setting. Hanging, stunted, as well as damaged or diseased branches are cut out. It is allowed to cut branches growing inside the crown. Too much thickening requires cutting and extra healthy, thicker branches. At the same time, anti-aging pruning of the fruit tree is carried out.
Scheme anti-aging pruning apple trees
The main essence of the rejuvenating pruning of fruit trees is the shortening of the oldest branches on perennial wood. As a result of such trimming, the diameter of the tree crown decreases by about one and a half meters.
Weakened and underdeveloped lower branches should be trimmed on branches that grow upward. The upper branches require trimming on the shoots going to the side. Pruning is important in accordance with the rule of subordination: the main branch must always have a greater length than its branches. Thick boughs growing from below cannot be pruned. Otherwise, extensive wounds appear on the tree or a hollow forms, which very often leads to the death of the plant.
Maximum apple pruning
Most often, the maximum pruning of apple trees is done in spring, even before sap flow in fruit trees. You can perform maximum partial cropping during the winter period. Work should be carried out on sunny and dry days.
Thinning begins with trimming branches on the most voluminous branches. Next, especially thickened, longest and largest branches are removed. At the places of the removed branches, you can not leave hemp provoking decay or diseases of the fruit tree. Sections too close to the stem do not heal well. All areas of fresh sections must be treated with varnish or paint.
With maximum pruning, the principle of three-tiered trees, which assumes the presence of longer lower branches, is taken into account. One-year or just-planted trees require pruning immediately after planting. In this case, the upper part of the trunk is removed and the future shape of the crown of the fruit tree is outlined.
Caring for the apple after pruning
Any pruning, and even more powerful and rejuvenating, requires special subsequent care for fruit trees. As a rule, plants after trimming need to be fertilized in the trunk circles. It is recommended to use organic fertilizers for this purpose at the rate of 8 kilograms per square meter of soil. A good result shows the use of a mixture of nitrogen in the form of 20 grams of urea, 10 grams of double superphosphate and 20 grams of potassium chloride. Instead of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, wood ash can be used. It contains important trace elements that help neutralize the acidity of the soil.
The introduction of organic, phosphorus and potash fertilizers is best done in the autumn. In spring, it is advisable to loosen the trunk circles, which helps preserve moisture in the soil. In order to improve the mineral nutrition of fruit trees in the summer, it is required to use a urea solution, as well as trace elements such as zinc or boron.
How to prune an apple tree in autumn
Foliar urea-based top dressing shows its effectiveness in the formation of a high yield. Nitrogen supplements are most important at the stage of laying flower buds. Spraying is carried out with special compounds or a weak solution of urea.
Further care of the tree after pruning does not have significant differences from the standard and is carried out in accordance with the general agricultural technology of cultivation of fruit plants.