Training pruning : what is the principle ? How to do it ?

Essential for a shrub to maintain a harmonious shape growing, training pruning is a technique that is practiced over several years. It also has the advantage of strengthening the structure of a tree, which is essential for a very productive fruit tree. Thanks to a well-conducted training pruning, he will be able to bear the weight of the fruit. Let’s see in more detail what this technique consists of, which makes it possible to sculpt a young tree.

Training size: what is the principle?

Training pruning is done using a pruner and pruning shears. Its principle therefore consists in sculpting a young tree grafted for one year on its feet, that is to say a scion. You have to take into account the shape you want to give it later.

For the training size to allow properly carve the frame of young trees, it must be carried out from planting and over three consecutive years. Here is what it consists of.

1time year :

  • Cut the scion to the desired height: it should be topped, keeping only three eyes from which the future carpenter branches will start. Creating carpenter branches allows you to give the tree the desired shape.
  • Cut the branches that grow along the trunk. These are sap-drawing branches.

2th year :

  • Eliminate all the side branches, namely those that develop on the trunk under the main branches forming the antlers.
  • Reduce the main branches so that their length does not exceed 30 cm. Care is taken to prune above an outward-facing eye.

3th year :

  • Prune the side branches that have formed on the main branches to reduce them to a length of 25 cm. It should be pruned just above an outer eye.
  • Take care to keep only the four new, tallest side branches. All the others having also developed on the carpenters must be removed.

The tools used must always have been sharpened et carefully disinfected before starting the pruning.

Training size: at what time of the year?

The best time to practice a training pruning is thewinter. At this season, the upper parts of the trees are no longer supplied with sap, the latter having descended into the lower parts. This is called the vegetative rest. The leaves having fallen, we visualize much better the structure of the shrubs. It is therefore easier to appreciate the shape. However, action should only be taken during a frost-free period in order to avoid necrosis at the level of cut wounds. Indeed, the plant cells exposed during pruning are exposed to the risk of bursting by frost.

Training size: the different possible shapes

Thanks to the training pruning, the gardener gives his tree the shape he wants. But this must also take into account the space available to each specimen and/or the type of fruit tree. We therefore distinguish five different shapesto know :

  • The shape in palmette or form and you: it is the one chosen for an apple tree, a peach tree or a pear tree if it is trellised against a wall. The palmette shape can be single or double. Through this process, a fruit tree in espalier.
  • The shape in cup: it gives a tree a rounded shape. It comes in two types:

    • Low stem tumbler to reduce the height of the tree to a maximum of 80 cm in order to facilitate the harvesting of fruits,
    • Half stem tumbler to contain the height of the trunk between 1.20 m and 1.50 m at most.

  • The shape in cordon horizontal: apple growers frequently resort to this type of pruning of the apple tree. The height of the trunk is limited to between 40 and 80 cm. Only two main branches are preserved, each branching from the trunk in opposite directions. These branches are then called the bilateral cords.
  • The shape in cordon vertical: this is the ideal size for trellised vines but it is sometimes applied to pear and apple trees trained against a wall.
  • The form full wind: this size requires having enough space for each tree whose habit is respected. This technique preserves the natural shape of a tree.

To reap all the benefits of a perfectly carried out formation pruning, do not hesitate to entrust this task to a landscaper. This specialist knows the plants and performs their pruning according to the rules of the art.

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