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How to prune a walnut

How to prune a walnut


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Walnuts are grown by gardeners quite often, especially in the southern regions of our country. Often they treat it on the "plant and forget" principle, since the tree is quite unpretentious and can grow without any intervention. However, in order to obtain consistently high yields of nuts, it is necessary to carry out some care measures. These include pruning walnuts in the fall.

Do I need to trim walnuts

Walnut, like any other tree, grows intensively in the first years of life. In the first 5 years, its skeleton grows, frame branches are laid, a crown is formed. If you do not take any measures, the shape of the tree will be far from ideal, and fruiting is unlikely to become regular and abundant. Therefore, in the first years of life, the formation of the crown of the future walnut is necessarily carried out with the help of pruning. When it is carried out, unnecessary and improperly growing branches are removed, they form the basis of the future tree, its frame in accordance with the selected type of crown.

In addition, walnut pruning is done in the spring and fall to keep the tree healthy. From its crown, it is imperative to cut out dried, broken and damaged branches, since all of them are a potential place for the appearance of diseases and pests. This procedure can be carried out throughout the season.

Walnut is a very light-loving culture, therefore, for normal fruiting, its inner space must be well lit. This is also achieved by pruning, removing thickening branches growing inside the crown, as well as top shoots.

When to trim walnuts

The main types of walnut pruning are carried out, as a rule, in the spring. However, part of the work can be carried out in other periods. For example, sanitary pruning of walnuts is performed at least 2 times a year: in autumn, after harvest, and in early spring, before the beginning of the growing season. In addition, it may be required in case of emergency if the tree has been damaged, for example, by strong wind or suffered from mechanical stress.

Walnut pruning in spring

Spring pruning of walnuts is carried out during a period when the air temperature is steadily kept above 0 ° C, but the kidneys are still dormant. This suggests that the growing season has not yet begun, the tree continues to be dormant. There is no active movement of juices inside it, so it will tolerate pruning painlessly.

In addition to sanitary pruning, rejuvenating pruning of mature walnut trees is done in the spring, removing some of the old wood at the top of the tree. This allows you to well illuminate the inner space of the crown and stimulate the growth of new lateral shoots. And also in the spring, the crown of young walnut trees is formed, pruning them in accordance with the selected scheme.

Summer walnut pruning

Summer walnut pruning is done in mid or late July. At this time, the tree gives a lot of young growth. By removing it at an early stage, you can significantly reduce the amount of work for the fall, as well as save the tree nutrients, directing them not to forcing improperly growing and unnecessary shoots, but to the formation of fruits. It is also important that the shoots at this time are green, not lignified. It is easy to stop their growth by simply pinching the top of them with your fingers.

Walnut pruning in autumn

In order not to weaken the plant before wintering, strong pruning is not practiced at this time of the year. In the fall, the walnut pruning scheme is pretty simple. At this time of the year, it is enough to make an examination and remove diseased and dried branches. In addition, the growth of the current year is shortened by 1/3, since young branches over 0.6 m in length are prone to freezing.

How to properly prune a walnut

For good fruiting and convenience of work, a young walnut tree is formed, giving it a certain type of crown with the help of pruning. The most common shaping methods are as follows:

  • tiered (improved tiered);
  • leader;
  • bowl-shaped.

The choice of a walnut crown formation scheme is determined by the gardener independently, based on the conditions, climate, as well as personal preferences and experience.

The following tools are required to perform trimming:

  • garden knife;
  • lopper;
  • secateurs;
  • garden saw-hacksaw;
  • a stepladder or ladder for working with the upper tier of the crown;
  • garden var or oil paint on a natural basis;
  • gloves, glasses and other personal protective equipment.

Before trimming, all cutting edges of the tools must be properly sharpened. The sharper the tool, the cleaner the cut will be. He will heal much faster. In order not to infect, the tool must be treated with alcohol or any disinfectant solution before work.

Layered walnut pruning scheme

After planting, the walnut seedling is cut at a height of 0.6-0.8 m. This is necessary in order for the tree to restore the root system, which, as a rule, is severely damaged during transplantation. Starting from the second year, the formation of the crown starts. The essence of the tiered method consists in the formation of 5-6 fruit tiers on a tree, each of which consists of 3 skeletal branches having good angles of departure and 12-15 cm apart from each other.The distance between tiers should be within 0.5-0 , 6 m.

Important! After formation, the tree should have a bare bole with a height of 1.2-1.5 m.If the lower tier is laid too low, it is better to remove it.

Leading pruning

The main principle of the leader scheme for the formation of the crown of a walnut is the uniform arrangement of 6-8 skeletal branches in a spiral at a height of 0.5 m from each other. A tree formed in this way is uniformly illuminated, which has a positive effect on productivity.

Cup-shaped pruning of a young walnut

Shaping the tree into a bowl can significantly reduce its height and make it easier to work with the crown. In order to form a nut in this way, it is necessary to leave 3-4 skeletal branches at a height of 1-1.2 m, having good angles of departure and spaced from each other by 0.25-0.3 m.The central conductor above the upper branch is cut completely ... Thus, the tree grows not upward, but in breadth, gradually overgrowing with branches of the second order, which are shortened by 1/3 with each subsequent pruning.

Rejuvenating Walnut Pruning

Over time, the yield of walnuts (usually in trees over 10 years old) may decrease, and the fruits themselves become smaller and deformed. The situation can be corrected with anti-aging pruning, removing some of the old wood and growing new shoots instead. Such a procedure is carried out in the spring. First of all, too long shoots, lateral processes are removed, lighten the inner space of the crown. Light rejuvenation is done once every 3-4 years, more serious pruning - once every 6-8 years.

After particularly harsh winters, it happens that the walnut tree freezes completely. In this case, radical pruning is used, which consists in the complete cutting of the trunk. If the root system of the walnut remains viable, the stump will begin to produce abundant root growth. In this way, in the place of the old tree, you can grow a new one without resorting to uprooting the old one and planting seedlings.

Sanitary Walnut Pruning in Autumn

Sanitary pruning in the fall is essential to keeping the tree healthy. Every broken or withered branch is a place where disease can develop, especially in humid, warm climates.

Attention! Correctly pruning walnuts in the fall does not only mean removing excess shoots. It is also a great way to inspect crowns and shoots, assess their condition, identify potential problems and dangers, and outline ways to eliminate them.

It allows detecting diseases at an early stage, localizing foci of diseases and saving trees from possible death.

Affected and dry branches are the wintering grounds for insects and their larvae. Timely removal of such "dormitories" in the fall contributes to the overall health of the tree, hinders the development of the pest population. For maximum safety, all cut wood and fallen leaves must be burned after sanitary pruning.

Care after pruning and shaping the walnut

Pruning in the fall weakens the walnut. Timely feeding with a small amount of potash and phosphorus fertilizers, which are applied to the trunk circle in liquid form, will help him quickly regain strength. After sanitary pruning in spring and autumn, the tree boles and lower skeletal branches should be whitewashed. This is a great way to control pests that live in the folds of the bark. In addition, frost cracks appear much less often on whitewashed trunks.

You can whiten either with a ready-made composition, purchasing it in a specialized store, or with other solutions prepared yourself. For whitewashing, use a solution of slaked lime, chalk, PVA wood glue, acrylic and water-dispersion paint. The most important thing is that the paint layer does not impede the access of air to the bark.

Experienced gardening tips

Walnut pruning, especially for an adult, is a long and painstaking procedure. Experienced gardeners, when carrying out work on their own, recommend using the following recommendations.

  1. A tree formed in a tiered or leader manner can reach a considerable height. In order not to experience problems with working at height, it is better to form it in the shape of a bowl.
  2. Shoots originating at an acute angle with the central conductor are potential break points in the walnut trunk. You need to get rid of them.
  3. Large branches must be removed in several steps. To avoid scuffing the bark, you must first make a cut from the bottom of the branch.
  4. The entire tool must be sharply sharpened. This is not only a guarantee of even cuts and cuts, but also a way not to get tired longer. It is easier and easier to work with a sharp tool, this is important for large volumes of work.
  5. It is better to remove one large branch than several smaller ones.
  6. Too much anti-aging pruning is more likely to harm the tree, and it will take a long time to restore it. No more than 1/3 of the old wood can be removed at a time.
  7. After rejuvenating pruning in spring, trees must be fed, including nitrogen-containing fertilizers, in order to stimulate the growth and development of new shoots. In autumn, fertilizers containing nitrogen cannot be used.
  8. You cannot start work in the spring too early or too late in the fall. If the plant falls under frost, the sections will freeze and the branch will die.

It should also be noted that gardeners do not have a consensus on the use of garden varnish or oil paint for processing cuts and cuts when pruning walnuts. Some believe that healing should take place naturally, others prefer to use honey, potassium permanganate and other remedies as a healing agent. Therefore, in this matter, the right to choose remains with the gardener.

Conclusion

Pruning walnuts in the fall is only part of the maintenance work for this beautiful tree that has lived for 100 years or more. This procedure not only contributes to good annual fruiting, it keeps the plant healthy for many years. Therefore, you should not neglect her.


Watch the video: Walnuts - Pruning the Trees (December 2022).

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