Well, while you are thinking about which way to choose, do sanitary pruning — it is mandatory in any case. It is necessary to remove all dry, damaged, broken, diseased branches.
In addition, it is necessary to clean and treat wounds found on the tree (for example, in the place of unsuccessfully cut branches) and hollows, remove peeling bark, remove highly proliferated mosses and lichens. For treatment, iron vitriol is most often used; cleaned and treated wounds are recommended to be covered with oil paint on natural drying oil, for the protection of small surfaces, garden var is suitable.
After examining the tree prepared in this way, you will probably see that it is necessary to lighten, and often reduce the crown (apple trees of old varieties are usually tall, and harvesting from the upper branches becomes a real problem).
Pay attention to the branches that extend from the trunk at an acute angle. Old, neglected trees often have faults in such forks. They must be released from the accumulated debris, clean the trunks to healthy wood (as far as the situation allows) and treat them as wounds and hollows were treated.
To prevent the tree from breaking completely later (under the weight of the fruit in summer or from snow in winter), it is advisable to make a screed, wrapping the trunk in a circle with a wide metal tape that will fasten the branches, not allowing the fault to expand.
Next-cut. At the same time, it is important to remember: pruning stimulates the growth of young shoots. The more we shorten the existing branches, the more actively new ones grow, so rejuvenation is a long, continuous and consistent process. The condition of the new crown will have to be monitored constantly, regardless of what method you decide to follow.
In the case of radical pruning, it is necessary to remove the excess tops as they appear and formative pruning for the remaining ones-to create a new crown.
Step-by-step rejuvenation is akin to a chess game: pruning a particular branch, you should understand what will come out of it, how it will affect the overall picture, and what you will do with it next-next year.
Well, I repeat: only you can decide how to rejuvenate a particular tree in your garden. The purpose of the article is to tell you in as much detail as possible about possible options, to warn you against mistakes, to suggest what you should pay attention to, to help you understand the principles and rules of anti-aging pruning.
Whether you cut radically or in stages, there are a number of rules that you should definitely follow. And the stronger the interference, the more you risk neglecting them. So…
1. Don’t leave any stumps
The stump is the future hollow, it is the “gate” for pests and pathogens of all kinds of diseases.
2. Process the slices
When pruning large branches, this is an immutable rule that should not be ignored in any case.
3. Cut off large, heavy branches in parts
When removing a large branch, always start with an inscription at the bottom to prevent bark bullying. Any damage to the bark, wood chips impair healing, and your apple tree is already hard.
4. Use a well-sharpened tool
With a blunt saw, you injure the tree more, and a poorly sharpened pruner does not so much cut as crumple the shoots — all this negatively affects the subsequent healing of wounds.
Both a person after surgery and a tree after a strong pruning need good care. Monitor its condition, remove all excess tops in a timely manner (and they will appear in abundance), so that the apple tree does not waste nutrients on them, and the crown does not thicken. Do not forget about cleaning: everything that you have cut down, cut off, cleaned (including old bark and debris from hollows or cracks) must be removed from under the tree and burned.
Make sure that the tree does not experience hunger and thirst: abundant watering in dry weather, fertilizing will help it recover faster. The composition and amount of fertilizing depends on how the apple tree was cared for before pruning, what kind of soil in the garden, what types of fertilizers (organic, mineral) are available to you, etc.
And of course, you need to understand: rejuvenating pruning can prolong the life of your apple tree, but without the subsequent systematic comprehensive care, the effect will be very short-lived.