Video: Crown Formation In Seedlings
Gardeners who grow apples, pears and other fruit crops usually know that there are many options for the formation of the crown of these trees. But not everyone knows which one is better, and how to do this job correctly. Therefore, they are afraid to do something wrong and, in general, let everyone in the garden take their course, that is, they choose the worst option. But if you follow at least the minimum rules, then you can form a normal crown for the seedling, which will affect the future development of the plant and its yield - quantity and quality.
And these rules are not complicated at all. The simplest form of the crown is
whorled-tiered, it is also one of the best and easily created. In Central Russia and the North-West, when forming a crown, it is desirable that the trunk is short, and it itself begins at a height of 40-60 cm (approximately at the height of a person's knee). If the branches extend from the trunk below, then it will be difficult for you to work under such a tree; and if they turn out to be above this level, it will grow tall, the trunk will more often be damaged by frost and sunburn. And most importantly, it is more difficult to harvest from such a tree.
Therefore, in order to properly form the trunk and the first whorl in a one-year-old seedling that does not have branches, which you bought in a nursery and planted in your garden, in the spring of the second year, its top is cut off on a thorn. But they do not do it arbitrarily. First, the initial level is determined, as we have already noted, it will be a height of 40-60 cm.Counting four kidneys above this level, we then pluck out the next two, and then leave two healthy kidneys even higher (the second is just in case, in reserve). The best of the two emerging upper shoots is attached to the thorn and then attached to give a vertical shape. This will be the new top. The second shoot is cut out mercilessly. And the thorn is removed the next year. He is no longer needed.
It is desirable that the crown begins with two or three branches close together, forming a so-called whorl, with a distance between them no more than 10-15 cm. It is for this that the lower group of buds is left. After pruning, shoots usually arise from them, from which branches of the first order should be formed. It is bad when only one branch is located below, and there are no others higher by 50-60 cm. But it is not very good for a tree if there are four or more of them in the lower whorl. Then the top of the stem will be inhibited and grow poorly. Excess twigs (worst) in the third - fourth years are removed flush. The angle of departure of the whorl branches from the stem should be between 90 ° and 40 °. If it is dull - more than 90 ° (the branches will be dangling), then they will grow poorly. And if the angle is less than 40 °, then in the future, already on an adult tree,under the weight of the fruit, the branches will break off.
The angles of divergence are called the angles between the branches, when viewed from the top of the tree. Ideally, they should be 180 ° between two branches, and 120 ° between three branches (since the full circle is 360 °), but this is almost never the case. But nevertheless, the angles between the branches should not be less than 90 ° - in the first case, and 60 ° - in the second, otherwise the tree will turn out to be one-sided.
In an individual garden in the first years of growth, the incorrect arrangement of branches is not so difficult to correct (in nurseries, this is usually not done because of the massiveness of the growing planting material). As long as the branches are thin and flexible, they can be pulled in the desired direction by tying them in the spring to the pegs. By autumn, they will take the desired direction of growth, then the link can be removed. The branch will remain turned, and then it will grow in the direction given to it. You just need to do it on time. After a few years, when the branches become thicker and less flexible, this will no longer be possible. It is very important that all branches of the whorl, and they usually come in different lengths and diameters, end at the same height, i.e. one or two of them must be pruned at the height of the branch ending below the others. If this is not done, then the branchesthose ending higher will grow stronger, and those that are shorter will wither. The top of the stem is cut 15-20 cm above the laid end of the branches.
If it turns out to be too long, then the branches of the whorl will be oppressed and grow poorly, and if it is short, then, on the contrary, the tip will be oppressed. After the formation of the lower whorl for two to three years, you should try not to cut off the emerging shoots and branches without special need. At this time, only diseased branches and shoots growing inside the crown are removed, as well as all crossing, rubbing, etc. And only after the emergence of shoots at a distance of 50-60 cm from the first whorl, the second is formed from them. The principle of its laying remains the same. The only difference is that they try to leave only two oppositely directed branches in it. After that, for four years, the crown can not be cut at all (with the exception of diseased branches). And only in the future, with its strong thickening, it will be necessary to thin out.In this case, you must follow the rule - it is better to cut out one large branch of the second - third order than several smaller ones. The branches must be cut flush with the bark, leaving no stumps, but also without damaging the bark, without sinking into the wood of the supporting branch. The resulting cut, to prevent infection with pathogenic fungi and early overgrowth, is treated with garden putty or just plasticine.
I want to draw the attention of novice gardeners to the fact that for the two-year-old seedlings that you buy, the first whorl should already be formed in the nursery. If this is not the case, you should think about what kind of planting material they are selling to you.