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Loquat pruning

Introductory notions on loquat pruning

The medlar is a wonderful plant and, despite being considered a minor fruit, it is widespread in all parts of Italy. Every plant needs maintenance and in this article we will outline the loquat pruning techniques necessary for healthy growth of your tree. The peculiar aspect of the medlar is an expanded crown of about 3-4 meters. The maximum height reaches 5 meters, these factors reduce maintenance and pruning interventions compared to other shrubs that have a greater development. The typical form of cultivation is the free-pot one. The medlar shrub is then made to develop up to about 1,30 by developing three or four branches from the main trunk.


The best time for loquat pruning is definitely the end of February. The winter cold, removing leaves from the shrub, determines a greater simplicity of the operation. In addition, the trunk of our medlar is strengthened by the cold, making it more robust and less fragile for our intervention. Since its formation it is necessary to carry out a first operation of loquat pruning. This already from the name we understand that it must be carried out to generate the right “shape” for the plant, allowing it to develop healthy and in the best way. Tie the top of the rod exactly one meter above ground level. At this point the gems will be generated. Select only 3 or 4 shoots that will make up the main branches in which the shrub will develop. This will serve to create a more harmonic shape of the same.

Pruning adult medlar


As for the second and third year of production, the medlar pruning technique is different. This is because our shrub will have developed in an important way. The main branches must reach a maximum of half a meter. If they are longer then shorten them, if they have not reached that length you will postpone pruning to the following year. Let three other shoots develop at the bottom: one near the main branches; two below, generating a harmonic view of the shrub. In the second year, continue to follow these simple guidelines: shorten the longer branches by 50 cm and eliminate the new shoots that develop vertically, instead keeping those that go horizontally in order to create a thicker and more pleasant-looking crown.

Loquat pruning: Other precautions


From the fourth year onwards, the loquat pruning operations are simplified. We already know that branches that exceed 50 cm must be shortened, branches tending upwards will be trimmed and horizontal expansion will be preferred. In the following years the weaker ramifications will be eliminated by continuing to follow the usual general indications. At this point we have already reached the desired shape of our medlar. To ensure optimal fruit production, shorten the branches that have already produced fruit that are at least 12 months old. Cut about a quarter of the branch to avoid overdeveloping the branches. Try to prune the tree harmoniously. Last indication, provide adequate support to the falling branches in case you have decided to let your medlar develop freely.

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