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Importance of pruning fruit trees

We can plant our seed trees, or we can do it through land or air layers. Once our tree is 1 or 2 years old, it is planted and tutored. Well, during the first 3 or 4 years it is advisable to perform some type of pruning training to promote its fruition.


If we let it grow freely, without any pruning, it will acquire its natural size, which is not bad at all, but at harvest time we will have more work and very probably less yield. This is why we must try to take it to one of the most common ways that we will see below, in order to achieve the following 3 objectives:


1. Obtain a solid branch frame that supports the weight of the crop and wind well.

2. Get a well-lit drink. A fruit tree cannot be tangled, but have its branches distributed throughout the space, leaving the interior more or less airy and receiving light.

3. It is very important that the sun reaches the fruit throughout its glass, also inside, if not, the production will only be on the outside and will be less sweet (without sun on it). Furthermore, if the density of the vegetation hinders the lighting and internal ventilation of the canopy, the canopy does not renew and ages rapidly.


Finally, with the formation pruning, we decide whether to have a tree with a short trunk or a long trunk, decapitating the tree at the height that seems convenient to us.


The fruit trees receive various types of pruning:


1. Training Pruning

2. Cleaning Pruning

3. Pruning of Fruiting

4. Pruning of Rejuvenation and Regeneration


Training Pruning


It is carried out during the first 3 or 4 years from when it is planted until it enters production. It is almost essential to do it and its objective is to get a suitable shape for the tree and in this way it is more productive and at the same time easier to harvest.


The short trunk (less than 1 m.) Is much more comfortable because the ladder is not necessary for pruning, thinning fruits, harvesting, etc. Commercial and intensive fruit growing opts for this option. But in small gardens, a fruit tree with a short trunk can take up a lot of space.


The tree standing tall (more than 1 m. From the ground to the first branches) allows the associated cultivation of greens and vegetables under the canopy, although it is not highly recommended due to the competition between plants for water and nutrients and because the work can damage the superficial roots of the tree. This type of tree requires the use of ladders for pruning, thinning, harvesting, etc. and it takes more years than the low foot to start bearing fruit.


Once the training ends, only the following two are practiced annually:

Cleaning Pruning


It consists of removing dry branches, suckers, branches that tangle the crown, dry stumps, etc. This pruning is necessary in all species and during all the years of the tree's life.


Fruiting pruning


The objective of the Pruning of Fructification is to renew the formations of the tree that carries the fruit for others that will bring the harvest of the following year, since they have been exhausted.


Rejuvenation and Regeneration Pruning


There is a 4th pruning that is done in certain cases. When the fruit tree reaches a time when production begins to decrease, instead of choosing to uproot the tree, it is drastically pruned to regrow.


There are several methods of Renewal or Regeneration Pruning:


  • Branch spacing: It is done when the branch is far from the trunk and when its production is scarce. Approximately 1/3 of the length of the branch is left and it is made to several branches every year, not all at once.

  • Headless: the entire crown is cut with all the branches. To make it less traumatic, one year you can cut one part and the rest the other.

  • Recepado: It consists of cutting at ground level. Many suckers arise and a formation proceeds. Only the olive tree responds to this drastic pruning. Sometimes it is also applicable to fig and apple trees.

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