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Summer Pruning Of Fruit Trees

, Admin

All gardeners know very well that pruning of fruit-trees is more appropriate and safer to do exactly in the spring period, usually it is the end of February and March months, when there is no heavy frost already, but also before the beginning of vegetation is still quite far. In fact, in addition to spring pruning, it is quite possible to carry out summer pruning, it is most often carried out in relation to young trees, and it consists in their formation. In this article we will talk about the rules and techniques of summer pruning of fruit-trees.

Summer pruning of fruit trees
Summer pruning, most often, is aimed at the formation of young trees. © parapajaros


  • What is summer pruning for?
  • Spruning the buds
  • Puncturing
  • Tapering
  • Sprunning the branches
  • Tapering

What is summer pruning for?

Fruit trees pruning in summer can bring the fruiting period closer, form a fully developed crown, promote the maturation of young shoots and their more complete formation.

All too often summer pruning is carried out in relation to frosty plants. If individual branches are frozen, it is extremely difficult to distinguish them in early spring from healthy shoots. During the bud-blossoming period, the frozen shoots can lag behind in development. If buds on them unfold later, such shoots can be left alone, but if buds do not unfold at all, such shoots will need to be cut out on a ring. It is possible to understand which shoots are strongly frozen and which are not, only after waiting for the beginning of summer, then you can remove them.

You should know that summer pruning should be considered as a complement to spring pruning, but not the main one.


The buds on fruit trees can be both vegetative and generative or mixed, but still more often a shoot is formed from a bud. Young shoots are necessary for the plant, sometimes they are located successfully, and sometimes they grow deep into the crown, thickening it or grow vertically upwards turning into wolves, on which there is no fruit.

You should know that the more the angle of branch departure from the trunk, the better in terms of yield and vice versa, the less the angle of branch departure from the trunk, the worse for yield. If the buds are located in such a way that they will have to be removed in the future, it is best to remove this bud immediately. The bud is removed on the shoot with an ordinary garden knife. The bud should be accurately cut with a knife, and the place where it was, necessarily cover with garden varnish.

You should know that at the base of each bud there are additional, so-called dormant buds, usually two, and after the death of the main bud they wake up and start to grow, so you should remove them as well. It is necessary to remove the buds with a small piece of bark, but it is important not to touch the cambial layers, only in this case the wound will quickly overgrow.

Moving a bud, besides the obvious benefit, will bring an indirect benefit: nutrients will be directed to the more successfully located buds. The method of blinding the buds is admissible exactly on young plants of two or three years of age. Such plants usually produce shoots, while on older plants with an established crown, it is difficult to know which bud to remove and which to keep. In addition, you will have to remove a large number of unnecessary buds, which is very difficult, so on mature trees it is better not to carry out such a method.


This method is consonant with the operations carried out on vegetable crops. The essence of the operation practically does not change for fruit crops, it's also a cutting or pruning of green shoots, young shoots before they become wood. Such operation is usually performed in summer, it is allowed both on young plants and adults.

First, determine the direction of shoots growth and necessity of their presence in the crown. If the shoots are growing in such a way that they will certainly thicken the crown in the future, they can either be broken out entirely, if they come from the main shoot, or the green tips of existing shoots can be removed. The places where the green shoots are removed should always be insulated with garden paint or garden varnish.

Summer pruning of fruit trees
Method of pruning during summer pruning. © Gardening Helpdesk


This method is usually carried out on young shoots, but they are not removed entirely, as in the case of staking, but their tips are cut off with a length of five centimeters if the shoot is short enough, and ten centimeters if it is quite long.

This method will stop the growth of the shoot in length, and will stimulate its maturation and thickening. As a result, the shoot will definitely become more woody and strong by autumn, and will withstand the sticking of wet snow and will not break later under the weight of the harvest. Plucking is used both by private gardeners and large farmers.

This method is simple, but it allows effectively regulating the development of skeletal branches of young fruit-trees. The inhibition of branch growth, in addition to improving its properties, also contributes to a more harmonious development of the crown. Most often, shoots that are subjected to pruning grow on the southern side of the crown, they are longer than shoots growing on the northern side of the crown, and this method allows to equalize the length of shoots growing on both sides of the crown.

It is better to clip in July, if you do it in June, there can be a secondary growth of shoots and you will have to clip again. To prevent transmission of infection from an infected tree to a healthy one, the blades of pruning shears or garden shears should be wiped with a cloth soaked in alcohol upon completion of a single tree.

Shoots breaking

This method consists in breaking out or cutting out of the crown of a fruit-tree young annual shoots, which grow at an acute angle to the crown, wolfs, growing strictly vertically, or young shoots, which develop in the direction of the depth of the crown, which will further lead to its densification.

If this operation is carried out in June, the shoots can very easily be removed with garden shears or even by hand; secateurs can also be used. If you remove such shoots in July they may have had time to partially harden and you will have to cut them out with a sharp pair of pruning shears. It is dangerous to break out the half-timbered shoots as this can lead to crushing of the bark. After removing the shoots, the cut places should always be covered with garden varnish or garden paint.

Cut or broken off shoots can usually be started when they reach a length of five centimeters. Already in this period of shoot development, it is easy to understand whether they are needed or not.

Summer pruning of fruit trees
Young shoots that develop in the direction of the depth of the crown are cut out in summer

Branch bending

This method is used both on young fruit-trees and on older ones. Its necessity is dictated by the fact that minimal amount of fruits or no fruits are formed on vertical shoots and shoots branched off from trunks at an acute angle. Bending such shoots to the maximum angles of inclination from trunks will result in formation of a crop on them, and they will become full-fledged fruit-bearing branches.

Bending of shoots is most appropriate in summer period. This is the time when shoots are most pliable and breaks in the place of bending of the shoot will be excluded (or at least the risk of their occurrence will be minimal). The shoots are bent back usually by tying twine, strong rope or wire to them. In this case it is necessary to put a piece of rubber under the place of fixing the wire to the shoot.

Next, the wire or twine should be attached to the neighboring more powerful branch or to the trunk in order to achieve the desired angle of departure of the branch from the trunk. It remains to fasten the wire and ensure that no tugging is produced where the wire or twine touches the shoot.

After four or five months, the branch usually takes the position it is given by bending. After this time, the tension of the rope or wire may be loosened and the result checked - if the branch remains in the position which the rope gave it, the rope or wire may be loosened altogether.

Claim. Here are examples of the most common summer pruning techniques. If carried out as we have described, the risk of negative phenomena will be minimized. In general, summer pruning should not be feared, as a rule, in this period plants are amenable to pruning, and the removal of green shoots in the future will have a positive effect on the growth and development of the crown of a fruit tree.

By the way, if we talk about the effect of summer pruning and spring pruning on the fruit tree, it is noticed that the summer pruning of fruit trees endure even easier spring pruning.

Hence we can conclude that summer pruning is both safe and useful for plants, and it is not worth neglecting it.