Peach is a plant that is useful in all respects and can be grown in gardens of the southern regions and even in the middle lane without much difficulty. Experienced gardeners argue that in the absence of annual pruning, starting from the first year after planting, the peach will not bear fruit, or it will yield such a meager crop that its cultivation will be unprofitable.
This is due to the fact that the overgrown trees of peach, apricot and nectarine are depleted under the load of exorbitantly high yields without normalization. No less destructive for groomed trees and pests who like to settle on such weak and thickened plants. Pruning should be given almost all the free time, especially in the summer.
Features and timing of trimming: when to start
Peach trees of any age are pruned during the entire growing season and even before the sap flow begins. In certain periods, emphasis is placed on thinning and crown formation (as a rule, this is spring or autumn pruning), or on normalization of the crop (summer pruning).
There is an opinion among gardeners that a peach needs to be cut like grapes, that is, almost every month to remove green shoots, and then spend a total pruning of shoots and branches in the fall. In the spring, it is customary to remove those branches that turned out to be frozen or received severe mechanical damage in the winter.
How to prune a peach in spring (video)
In spring, peach pruning is aimed at forming a crown. Any operation to shorten and completely remove the branches and shoots on a peach in the spring is recommended to be carried out before the awakening of the buds, that is, in February. This avoids gamma detection, which often leads to the death of trees.
The pruning scheme may be different, depending on the desired shape of the tree, however, all actions must obey generally accepted standards.
On young trees, branches are cut into a ring, leaving 3-4 to form a skeleton. At the same time, young growth is left on them. The essence of this pruning is that the peach bears fruit on 2 or 3 year old shoots. It is them that are important to maintain, as well as stimulate the formation of a new growth. In the second year, after the tree was planted, a second tier of 5 branches is formed, and the rest is shortened by a third of their length. In subsequent years, the formation of the crown continues, gradually removing the extra thickening crown and shoots affected by frost and pests.
In summer, not all gardeners practice pruning, but it is used to normalize crops and sanitize trees. The scheme of work should be as follows:
- thinning of non-fruiting branches this year by cutting into a ring (only the strongest shoots are left);
- removal of dried branches;
- removal of green shoots growing inside the crown or extending from the main shoots at an angle of less than 45 degrees;
- shortening branches that are too heavily loaded with fruits.
Duration of tree pruning in summer is mid-June or later. The main criterion for its beginning should be the formation of seeds in the fruits.
Pruning in autumn
Autumn pruning of peach trees is carried out in order to prepare it for winter. At this stage, it is important to moderately shorten all branches without exception:
- growth of the current year.
The total number of branches in this case should not exceed 80. In the event that in the area where the peach grows a lot of snow falls, it is recommended to remove fragile branches on the ring that can break under its weight.
The branches affected by pests and diseases are subject to complete removal. This will simplify the care of the tree next year, as it will not require numerous treatments.
Important! All parts of the peach removed in the fall must be burned.
As with the formation of other fruit and stone fruits, Peach is cut in several ways. All of them seem complicated and incompatible for beginning gardeners, however, after a detailed study of their features, everything becomes clear.
Almost all types of trimming can be combined with each other, except for recovery. It is necessary to remember that it is better to leave more branches on the tree than to deprive it of a source of nutrients - leaves, by cutting off an excessive number of shoots.
In Russia, for the formation of the crown, two classical schemes are used - cupped or grape. There is also a columnar shape of the crown of peach. Each of them is characterized by special advantages, disadvantages and a specific scheme for forming a tree.
As the name implies, the crown in this method of tree formation takes the form of a bowl: the lower branches are larger, and are located almost horizontally in relation to the soil. The upper part of the crown looks flat due to the alignment of the length of the shoots and the removal of thickening branches from its middle.
The formation of a cup-shaped crown begins almost immediately after the peach has been planted. The first thing a gardener should do is to pinch the growth point of the seedling and remove the weak branches, leaving 4 shoots located at an angle of at least 50 degrees to the trunk. The branches should extend from the trunk at the same level. In subsequent years, skeletal branches extending from one point also remain. It is important that a distance of at least 20 cm is maintained between adjacent tiers.
Grape crown shape
The grape shape of the crown differs from others in the type of its construction - it is flat, and the skeletal branches are located almost horizontally and in the same plane. Moreover, on the main branches and in the zone of their branching, an arrow and a knot of substitution are formed. A similar pruning scheme is also applied on half-skeleton branches. The minimum distance left between the fruiting links should be 15, maximum 20 cm.
To avoid exposing skeletal branches closer to the trunk, it is recommended that the replacement knot be left closer to their base than the arrow. After the arrow takes off, it is cut out for 2-3 kidneys (only the one located closer to the trunk). The remaining arrows shorten by 6-8 kidneys.
The peculiarity of the formation of a columnar peach is that there is no need to remove the branches growing inside the crown for the reason that they do not exist. It is also forbidden to damage, and even more so to pinch the growth point of such seedlings.
At the base of the trunk on each tier, it is recommended to leave no more than 3-4 shoots, which will yield the next year. Older branches are shortened by 4-5 kidneys. With too active growth of the shoots, pinch them.
There is also a bushy form of peach, which is recommended to be formed when planting trees in the northern latitudes. At the same time, gardeners will have to constantly limit the growth of the central conductor, and keep the plant height at the level of 1-1.2 meters.
We also suggest that you learn about the causes of curly peach leaves.
How to form a cup-shaped crown of peach (video)
Peach care after pruning
After pruning, the peach needs close attention of the gardener. It is important in the first minutes after removal of the branches to treat the wounds with garden varieties or other composition that prevents the drying of wood and the ingress of microorganisms and pests on it. During this period, the plant also needs abundant watering, especially if there is dry and hot weather, as well as fertilizing with nitrogen (during spring pruning) or complex potassium-phosphorus (during autumn pruning) fertilizers.
Successful peach cultivation is based not so much on the proper nutrition of the tree as on the formation of a bush. Even with a lack of mineral components in the soil, regular fruiting can be achieved by focusing on regulating the number of branches of the bearing and forming the crown type.