Pruning plum and pear
CERTAIN horticultural operations are time-bound and cannot be postponed. One such work is the pruning of deciduous plants such as peach, plum, pear, grapes, phalsa etc. Here are a few tips to serve as guidelines:
When the plants of the above mentioned species shed leaves with the commencement of winter, you can see through their skeleton. However, the bulk is too heavy due to the vigorous growth of such plants in this region especially the peach. To start with the pruning operation, it is advised to remove unwanted growth like dead and diseased wood and strangulating branches that criss-cross. Such branches not only damage other branches but also shade the fruit and branches below.
Suckers and water
sprouts also fall in the category of unwanted growth. These can be
easily identified. Suckers are a bunch of branches that rise from
below the graft union at the main stem as in the case of peach, plum
and almond etc. In case of pear, you may see them arising from the
soil at a distance from the trunk of the tree. The water sprouts rise
straight up at right angle from the branches of peach, plum and could
be identified from the growth that surpasses any other growth.
The quality of fruit is completely dependent upon the proper pruning of trees. In case of peach, it is the thinning of branches rather than heading back. I have seen people cutting the fruit-bearing twigs one-third at the tip, which is wrong. Such cutting initiates the buds just below the cut-end and takes the bearing area of the plant further away from the middle of the tree. Moreover, the very purpose of pruning is defeated. In fact, the bearing twigs that are of pencil thickness should be thinned out in number by removing them from the base. This is done to give a proper gap between the bearing twigs, that should roughly be around six inches. Thinning of fruit after fruit-set further improves the quality of fruit.
The pear tree bears
short spurs, thorn-like structures which are, in fact, the extension of
branches. Take care not to cut them unnecessarily. In case of plum tree
too, most of the bearing is on spurs. Removal of unwanted growth is,
however, common for all.