Training size: what principle? How to practice it?


Indispensable for a shrub to maintain harmonious shape while developing, 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 allows you to carve a young tree.

Training size: what is the principle?

The training pruning is carried out using a pruning knife and pruning shears. Its principle therefore consists in carving a young tree grafted for a year on the stalk, that is to say a scion. It is necessary to take into account the form which one wishes to give it thereafter.

For the training size to allow correctly 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 is advisable to top it off, keeping only three eyes from which the future carpenter branches will start. Creating carpenter branches gives the tree the desired shape.
  • Cut the twigs that develop along the trunk. These are the sap-pulling branches.

2th year :

  • Eliminate all the side branches, namely those that develop on the trunk under the carpenter branches forming the antlers.
  • Reduce the carpenter branches so that their length does not exceed 30 cm. Care is taken to perform the pruning above one eye facing outwards.

3th year :

  • Prune the side branches that have formed on the carpenter 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 highest side branches. All the others which have also developed on the carpenters must be deleted.

The tools used must always have been sharpened and thoroughly disinfected before undertaking the pruning.

Training size: at what time of year?

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

Training size: the different shapes possible

Through training pruning, the gardener gives his tree the shape he desires. 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 shapes, to know :

  • The shape in palmette or form in U: it is the one that we choose for an apple tree, a peach tree or a pear tree if it is trained against a wall. The palmette shape can be single or double. Thanks to this process, we form a espalier fruit tree.
  • The shape in cup: it gives a tree a rounded shape. It comes in two types:
    • Low-stem cup to reduce the height of the tree to a maximum of 80 cm in order to facilitate fruit harvesting,
    • Half-stem cup to contain the height of the trunk between 1.20 m and 1.50 m at most.
  • The shape in horizontal cord: Apple growers frequently resort to this type of apple tree pruning. We limit the height of the trunk between 40 and 80 cm. Only two main branches are preserved, each starting from the trunk in opposite directions. These branches are then called the bilateral cords.
  • The shape in vertical cord: it is the ideal size for the trellised vine but it is sometimes applied on the pear trees and the apple trees trellised 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 performed training 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.