How To Prune a pomegranate Tree ( Methods and Reasons)

 A Pomegranate tree is a deciduous fruit-bearing tree native to the Middle East and all the way to California. As a shrub, it reaches heights of ten meters and serves a variety of purposes.

Pomegranates, for instance, are a fruit crop. It is harvested between September and May, and the shrub’s fruit is used to make wine, juice, and smoothies. It looks attractive due to its bright flowers and many people use this plant as ornament. The plant, therefore, is an ideal edible landscape plant.

During this course, you will learn the best way to prune, the right time to trim and the right tools to use. If you read the entire article, you will have no doubts whenever you take out your pruning shears.

How To Prune a pomegranate Tree

The reasons for pruning pomegranates

There are many reasons why fruit trees, like pomegranates, should be pruned, including their health and well-being, as well as the benefits that will result from it, both aesthetically and from a profit standpoint. The following three groups summarize the main objectives.

  1. Maintain the health of your tree. 

By trimming some branches, the tree will have more vigor because the new ones will develop their strength and energy with much more strength. Further, pruning of the crown must ensure that the sun’s rays reach the inside of the branch and give life to its leaves and branches life. A bright sun can rid dark and humid places of many insects and pests.

  • Increase Production. 

Pruning pomegranates improves their production. Trees distribute sap throughout their bodies. The specimen will not be able to bear fruit if the branches are dry or severely damaged. The sap, therefore, can be better utilized by the youngest and healthiest branches, where better fruit will grow. Hence, cutting these fragments is convenient.

As an added benefit, when the tree feels attacked (this happens when it is cut) it is subject to the threat of death and flourishes before and in abundance. The result can also lead to an increase in production, within certain limits.

  • Shape the tree in a balanced way. 

The purpose of pruning is to remove branch tips that bend downward too much due to extension and weight, and they prevent someone from being able to walk underneath them.

What tools are needed for pomegranate trees?

If you are going to prune or trim a tree you will require variety of tools. They each require different tools depending on the harvesting time, the age of the pomegranate, and the pruning method.

  • Shears for pruning.
  • Using a ladder or scaffolding.
  • The chainsaw.
  • Wearing a helmet and gloves are essential safety measures.
  • The handsaw

Make sure you disinfect all pomegranate pruning tools before you begin. It will help you avoid spreading diseases, so you should do it before starting a pruning project and for changing plants as well.

There are ways you can prune a pomegranate tree

How to Trim a Newly Planted Pomegranate Tree

  1. Put your pomegranate tree in the ground at the end of winter.

It’s best to begin pruning your pomegranate tree right away after you buy it. Pomegranates are pruned during the winter when they are dormant, so planting them in the early to mid-winter is best.

  • Cut only one strong shoot if you want to have a single trunk.

Pick out the strongest, healthiest-looking shoot, then trim away the rest with pruning shears. A few more branches will eventually grow from it in order to form a trunk between 10 and 12 inches tall (25 to 30 cm). In the end, it will be cut shorter.

  • A system like this should not be installed in freeze prone areas. Whenever you lose a single sucker, then you have to start over from the beginning. Instead, select the multi-trunk option.
  • Cut cleanly with your shears. You can use a fine-toothed saw instead if the shoot is too thick.
  • A multiple-trunk system should have 5 to 6 strong shoots. 

Rather than picking just one, choose five to six of the strongest-looking branches and remove the rest. These will become branches that grow from the ground directly without a stem. Eventually, you’ll have to cut them shorter. 

  • Remove the young shoots after they have reached a length of 24 inches (61 cm). 

You need to trim down your remaining 1 to 6 shoots to 24 inches (61 cm) with pruning shears. It will help them grow new buds and make the plant bushier. It only needs to be done once; don’t do it in subsequent years.

  • The summer is a good time to prune more suckers.

 A sucker is a shoot that grows from the ground. In addition to the main branches, water sprouts grow at the base of the trunk. Additionally, they can rob the tree of nutrients and water as well.

  • This will need to be done every summer thereafter.
  • To reach the suckers’ roots, you may have to dig through soil to reach them.
  •  Use pruning shears to cut suckers as close as possible to their roots.
  • Prune away the water sprouts from the trunk as close as possible using pruning shears.

The second and third year of pruning 

  1. Reducing the branches by a third is a good idea.

 A fine-toothed pruning saw should be used for thick branches. Pruning shears should be used for thin branches. A branch should have three to five shoots.

  • Ensure that your cut is facing outward. This strategy will lead to the new branch’s outward expansion, not its inward expansion.
  • Cut off the inward-growing branches but leave outward-growing ones. You will be able to circulate light and air better this way.
  • Make sure suckers and water sprouts are removed annually. 

It is best to remove suckers in the summertime, but if your plant produces a lot of them, you will have to repeat the process more frequently. It is recommended to perform one in the late spring and one in the early fall.

  • Remove suckers and water sprouts the same way you did before. You should not allow these to grow.
  • These suckers will absorb water and nutrients that would otherwise benefit your tree.
  • In the third winter, begin removing dead or damaged branches. 

Your tree is well-established after it enters its third year, and you won’t have to prune it quite as heavily. It’s only necessary to prune your trees in the late winter after all the danger of frost has passed.

  • Keep track of the suckers and take them out as you spot them.
  • It is best to trim the diseased, dead branches a few inches beneath the diseased portion.
  • If exposed wood looks healthy, it should be fine.

How to maintain a mature tree 

  1. The winter is a great time to remove dead, diseased, or crossed branches. As your branches have grown thicker, you may no longer be able to use pruning shears, so a fine-toothed saw should suffice. Make sure you cut close to the trunk or branch’s base. It is possible for you to harbor pests and diseases if you leave a stub behind.

It may be a good idea to prune the small shoots at the end of the branches as well. You will eat bigger and tastier pomegranates with this method!

  • Summer is the time to cut back suckers and water sprouts. 

It is essential that you do this throughout your tree’s life. It is best to prune suckers and water sprouts off when you see them, but they will be more prevalent in the summer. Trees of any age will always have thin suckers and sprouts, so pruning shears will work well.

  • You should keep the tree between 10 and 12 feet (3.0 to 3.7 m) tall.

It is possible to let the tree grow taller, but harvesting will be more difficult. The fruit grows primarily on the top of the tree. It is easy to reach fruit on a 10-to-12-foot (3.0 to 3.7 meter) tree with a 9-foot (2.7 meter) ladder.

There are several varieties of pomegranate trees that grow to about 12 feet (three meters), but some are taller. The branches should be trimmed shorter in this instance.

  • Pruning away branches that have poor fruit quality is a good idea. Pomegranates are known for bearing a lot of fruit, but there will come a time when you have to choose which branches to maintain and which branches to prune. Make sure that the branches are cut as close to the collar as possible.

Collars are raised rings that separate branches from trunks. When you keep all the branches, you’ll prevent the healthy ones from getting enough energy.

  • Encourage new growth by trimming the tips of the branches. 

It is not necessary to trim the tree’s top until the tree is four to six feet tall (10 to 15 meters). Ideally, you should just cut the tree between 30 and 61 cm (30 to 12 inches). By exposing the new wood, more growth will occur.

  • The branches should not be burdened with too much fruit.

If you intend to prune in the winter, be very careful and make sure you are doing it with your best judgement. You can pull a long low branch gently if it is near the ground. Whenever a branch touches the ground, prune it short. Touching the ground may cause the fruit to rot or become contaminated.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Fruiting Time of Pomegranates?

It takes up to 7 months for pomegranate trees to mature their fruit. It will take the tree two to three years to bear fruit once it is strong enough to grow.

What is the lifespan of Pomegranates tree?

When planted in optimal conditions, they can live for 200 years or more.

Conclusion

The process of pruning a pomegranate tree is rather simple. The only thing you need to do is use the correct tools for the project. To do a clean job, you must generally follow the techniques listed earlier. 

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