Authors; Dr. Mujahid Ali, Engr. Muhammad Manzoor, Engr. Muhammad Mohsan
(Water Management Research Farm, Renala Khurd Okara)
Pruning is one of the most important cultural practices in orchards. It could be manual or with a pruning machine. After pruning it could be sprayed with broad-spectrum fungicide.
Time of pruning
Time of pruning is much more important because plants require certain age after which branches start fruiting. After harvesting fruits, March- April is the ideal month for pruning medium to light pruning. If a farmer is not interested in the summer crop so during after may when it flowers, flowers should be removed at its initiation.
When to start pruning
The plant should be trained and pruned from the first year of plantation to give it a proper shape.
Degree of pruning
Guava should be medium pruning. However, in the case of high density, it depends on how much is dense orchard. More dense orchards require more pruning to keep proper air circulation and sunlight penetration.
General rules for pruning
- Prune all dead and diseased branches
- Pruning severity will increase with the increase in planting density of the orchard
- Cut the dead/diseased wood in such a manner that its one-inch green portion must be cut so that
- Cut the branches above the buds, so it may not be injured. Leave a portion (1-3 inches) with a tree truck so that it is rejuvenile.
Canopy Management Prune the shoots going inside the canopy while keeping shoots coming outwards so that canopy gains maximum size having space inside. Prune the fruit plant so that maximum light and air circulation reach every portion of the plant. A glob shape canopy is more fruitful. This is called canopy management.
- Prune the plant with sharp pruning shear/scissors or secateurs so that branches may not damage.
- Sterilize the shear/scissor or secateurs with alcohol so that it may not spread diseases.
- No branch should touch the ground.
- Do not prune during intense high temperatures (May, June, July) as it may cause wilting
- Do not prune during rainy days which may lead to fungal attacks. Fungicide must be sprayed in case of misty weather.
Height of plant
It is not specific however, it depends on the cultivar and density of the orchard. The height of the plant should be about the height of a man. So that all operations i.e. spray, trimming, picking of would be easy.
Pruning too severe leads to dieback of the plant because during summer plant heat up and does not find enough leaves for transpiration (cooling effect). Plant heat up and die.
Benefits of pruning
- Plant age increase.
- Plant get a high yield.
- The fruit quality will be good.
- The plant will be less susceptible to diseases and insect pests.
- It will make the plant framework strong.
If a plant bears a lot of flowers from the same point remove some flowers so that size and quality of other fruits may not be affected. But more than 50% of de-blossoming causes low yield.