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the pruning of the old, leafless branches of a fruit tree to replace them with new branches; one of the principal means of prolonging the productive life of plants. It is used when tree growth decreases, strong shoots or suckers develop, or too many flower buds appear. Generally, 20- to 25-year-old apple and pear trees and ten- to 15-year-old apricot, peach, mazzard, cherry, and plum trees are rejuvenated.
Pruning may be light or heavy. Light pruning, or pinching, is used if bough growth decreases 25 to 30 cm. The bough is severed below a lateral branch that is facing the most desirable direction. The trees are pruned at the end of the fruiting period and during the desiccation period: the boughs are shortened, removing some of the growth from previous years. As a result, the tree does not expend its reserves on abundant flowering and sets less fruit. Pruning is done once every three to six years; the crown should be thinned annually.
With heavy pruning, each bough is cut to one-third of its length, leaving usually a strong sucker, which will serve as a continuation of the branch. Over the next several years, any overgrowth is thoroughly pruned, and strong branches develop. Several shoots develop after heavy pruning, and a new crown is formed from them in three or four years.
E. V. KOLESNIKOV