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A walnut tree bears fruit late. A harvest can therefore be expected from around the age of 30. Until then, however, the tree should not be able to grow unhindered and should therefore be pruned regularly. Because the trees can become very large and sprawling, the crown often does not have the necessary space to unfold without pruning. The following article explains when the time is right for the cut and how to proceed.

Cut walnut tree


The walnut tree has a special feature that is very important when choosing the right time when it can be cut. Walnuts can bleed profusely at any time of the year, but in some months less sap will come out when you cut the branches than in others. It should also be the goal that the walnut bleeds as little as possible during the cutting process. Therefore, the following should be observed for the ideal time:

  • much sap loss when cutting after leaf fall
  • Therefore, only cut the tree when it is leafy
  • excessive loss of juice leads to further damage
  • Line system no longer works properly
  • with frost after cutting, plant sap freezes in wound
  • Tissue tears not uncommon
  • Fungi and pests due to increased moisture on the wound

Cutting back in the months from is ideal late June to late September. From October you should no longer cut. The reasons for this are simple. In summer the tree is full of leaves, there is less bleeding because the sap is not only distributed in the branches but also in the leaves. In summer, the tree is not yet preparing for winter and frost is not yet to be expected.

Different appointments

Different dates are also important for the different cuts, but they are all in the summer months. The different cuts and times for this in the Juglans regia look like this:

Planting and training pruning

  • mid-June to mid-July
  • Choose days with mild temperatures

correction cut

  • mid-August to late September
  • less tree sap escapes

Pruning is unavoidable and necessary at other times of the year if the tree has been damaged by the weather. Because in the event of a wind break, the affected branches should be removed as quickly as possible so that the walnut tree is not damaged even more. After cutting, the tree should be left alone, the plant sap is allowed to bleed out unhindered. If the walnut is otherwise healthy, it will survive well if it stays this one time.

Ideal cutting technique

As a rule, you should always cut the shoots of the walnut tree directly above a bud. This leads to a sprout of the lateral buds lying under the cut. Do not place the cutting tool too far away from the bud. In addition, a cut is always made at a slight angle.

Required tool

Before you start pruning the walnut, you should prepare and lay out the appropriate tool. You need different tools for young trees than for large, older Juglans regia. Attention should be paid to the following:

  • always wear gloves
  • prevents injuries when cutting
  • Long sleeves and long trouser legs also make sense
  • pruning saw
  • pruning shears
  • chainsaw
  • Ladder for tall trees
Tree pruning with pruning shears

The tools used should always be sharp and disinfected. If the saw blades or scissors are not sharp, the cutting points on the tree fray, the wound gets bigger, more sap escapes and the trees bleed even more. In addition, more bacteria and fungi can enter the walnut tree through the frayed area. When the tool is dirty, bacteria and fungi adhere directly to the cutting surface and thus get directly into the interface.

Pruning walnut tree: instructions

plant cutting

When the plant cut is the cut that the tree in the early years the correct shape should give. In the first two years, the trees grow on the main cane and only start to sprout the side shoots in the third year. Now trimming becomes necessary and you should start shaping the crown. This is done as follows:

  • Young tree should have a straight trunk
  • some annual side shoots should be present
  • planting in spring
  • cutting in summer
  • select four shoots as framework
  • a vertical central shoot
  • three shoots to the sides
  • 45° to 60° angles to the main trunk are ideal
  • reduce by about a third
  • remove all other shoots completely

The top bud that remains on the shoot after pruning should point away from the trunk to prevent new side shoots from growing inside the crown. Above all, you should make sure that the central shoot stands out and forms a triangle with the tips of the remaining side shoots.

education cut

Is there a risk of a malgrowth, the walnut tree needs an educational pruning. As a rule, however, this does not happen as often as with other fruit trees. The training cut helps to achieve an even crown and should therefore be carried out as follows:

  • after the leaves sprout
  • in early summer
  • cut all steep growing shoots
  • Remove competitive shoots to the scaffold
  • Cut scaffolding shoots all to one length
  • cut off new shoots from the trunk
  • directly when they develop

correction cut

As the name suggests, the corrective cut helps to give the walnut a nice, appealing shape. Above all, you remove the branches that deform and destabilize the walnut tree. For the cut-time you should use thelate summer Select. Caution should be exercised with young trees that do not yet have a developed root system and for which a corrective cut should not be made too early. Because the young trees often find it difficult to compensate for the lost plant sap from the resulting wounds due to the few roots. The corrective pruning of an older walnut is carried out as follows:

  • trim all competitor center shoots
  • usually grow vertically upwards
  • recognizable by the bulge towards the center drive
  • couldn't carry load of walnuts later
  • then break off at the bead
  • can lead to dangerous wounds on the tree

thinning cut

Since the walnut trees are among the fast-growing trees, they need enough space at the site. Shortening the side shoots therefore only helps for a short time. The next year, Juglans regia reacts with stronger budding, and then there are usually even more side shoots to be removed. Therefore, it often makes more sense to carry out a thinning cut. Here, some crown branches are cut down to the trunk. Over the years, one builds in this way loose crown on.

Cut thick branches

If a walnut tree is to be pruned, especially if it is already older and very large, thicker branches inside the crown often have to be removed. Due to its size and weight, this can quickly lead to tears or cuts that make the tree bleed quickly. Therefore, the following should be done with particular care:

  • Ideally work in pairs
  • possibly use a ladder
  • Saw the bottom of the branch in half
  • then a few centimeters further away from the top
  • The branch's own weight causes it to break
  • Then simply remove residues from the trunk
  • Do not damage the Aring when doing this
  • either leave it on pegs
  • alternatively cover with wound wax

derivative cut

You should always use the derivative pruning when you are pruning the central shoot in height and the side branches. Here you cut the desired shoot down to a weaker side shoot. This then takes over the function of the previous shoot and now forms the tip. It must then be examined next year for new shoots that can form here. Then you have to remove them again except for the desired leading drive. It is important here that the eyes always point upwards and outwards so that the new side shoots grow outwards and upwards and do not hinder other shoots.

Put the walnut on the cones

The unwanted shoots are usually removed directly on the branch. With the walnut tree, however, things are a little different, because the walnut can react very sensitively to this pruning technique. You should therefore always cut the walnuts on the cone. This means that not the entire branch is removed, but a residue remains on the trunk, the so-called cone. This should happen for the following reasons:

  • doesn't bleed as much
  • cut directly on the branch ring, a lot of juice escapes
  • the cone dries up from above
  • new shoots can be formed on the lower part
  • Cones dry up completely
  • can then be removed from the trunk
  • then saw off at an angle
  • top down
  • prevents wounds on the scaffold

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