Training & pruning in fruit: Learn objectives, principles, system & ways to carry out

Training & pruning


Training refers to the judicious removal of plant part/parts to develop proper shape of a plant capable of bearing a heavy crop load.

Pruning refers to the judicious removal of plant parts like root, branch, leaf, flower, fruit etc. to obtain a good & qualitative yield. So, it is clear that training is related to size & shape of plant whereas pruning is related with better yield & quality production. Training is a treatment given to young plants for suitable or desirable shape with strong framework which may or may nor involve pruning. In case of pruning diseased woods, surplus annual growth, dead, dried branches of plants are removed. They both work together to form productive plant with better quality yield.


It means developing desired shape of the tree with particular objectives by controlling the growth habit. It starts from nursery stage of plant. Some fruit crops like grape vines, ber, fig, guava, kiwi etc require training.

Objectives of Training:

  • To allow more light & air to the centre of the tree to expose maximum leaf surface to the sun.
  • To direct the growth of the tree so as to make various cultural iperations like spraying, ploughing, harvesting, is easily carried out.
  • Protect the tree from sun burn & wind damage.
  • Ensure the balanced distribution of fruit bearing parts of the tree.

Principles of Training:

  • Maintaining strong mainframe.
  • Balanced branch placement.
  • Avoid crotch angle branches at the same growing point.

Systems of training:

  • Center leader system:

In this system of training, the central main branches are allowed to grow indefinitely so that it will grow rapidly than the side branches. Such tall trees bear fruits near the top. Lower branches are less vigorous & less fruitful.

  • Open center or vase system:

In this system the central branch is allowed to grow upto certain height about 1.5 to 1.8m. After it is cut for development of lateral branches which allows full sunshine to reach each branch.

  • Modified leader system:

This is the intermediate of above two system. In this system first the central leader is allowed to grow unpruned for first four to five years & then the central stem is headed back that allow lateral branches to grow as in open centre system.

  • Over head trellis or Bower system:

In this training system vines are trained on mandap.

  • Modified bower or Telephone system:

It is similar to bower system except that after every 2 meter as space is kept to walk as space to walk and carry out cultural operations.

  • Bush system:

An unpruned tree with multi stem and dwarf growing habit.

  • Cordon system:

Cordon system is adopted wherein espalier is allowed with the help of training on wires.

  • Training on pergola:

Training on pergola is system of training for supporting perennial vine crop. Pergola is developed by a network of criss-cross wires supported by RCC/angle iron poles on which vines are trained. Suitable for passion fruits, grape, small gourd, pointed gourd, & even peaches.


Pruning is proper and judicious removal of plant parts such as shoots, spurs, leaves, roots or nipping away of terminal parts to correct or maintain tree structure & increase its usefulness.

It is done to:

  • Make the plant more productive and bear quality fruits.
  • Increase longevity of the tree.
  • To remove diseased, criss-crossed, dried & broken branches.
  • Chances of insects-pests, diseases and winter injury are less.
  • Make it into manageable shape &
  • To get maximum returns from the orchard.

Pruning is most often done during winter commonly referred as dormant pruning however, summer pruning is also done if necessary.

Principle of pruning:

  • To admit more sunlight, remove unproductive branches which are producing few or no fruits
  • To keep the plant in its proper vigor, vitality and to obtain optimum yields of good quality fruits.

Methods of pruning:

  1. Thinning out:

When the shoot is entirely removed from the point of its origin and no re-growth is allowed to occur from the cut ends. It does not invigorate the tree.

  1. Heading back:

When the terminal portions of branch/shoot is removed and it encourages lateral growth from the remaining shoot. If a portion of a shoot is removed and the growth can develop from the beginning portion. Heading back promotes the growth of lower buds as well as several terminal uds below the cut.

  1. Thin wood pruning:

It refers to the removal of slow growing, weak, under hanging branches or shoots which are either not fruiting or producing fruits of low quality.

  1. Bench cut:

It removes vigorous, upright shoots back to side branches that are relatively flat and outward growing. It is used to open up the center of the tree and spread the branches outwards. Since this is major cut, this should only be used when necessary.

Pruning are of two types:

  1. Winter/dormant pruning: It refers to regular pruning. It is carried in winter & is an invigorating process where heavy pruning is also done at late winter to avoid winter injury.

  1. Summer pruning: It refers to occasional pruning. It is carried in summer not later than July where it results in reduced tree growth by eliminating energy or food producing portion. It is limited to upright & vigorous current season`s growth removal only.


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