Pruning currants in the spring: pictures and videos for beginners

Pruning currants in the spring: pictures and videos for beginners

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A rare garden in Russia does without black or red currants. This berry is not only tasty and healthy, it grows well and ripens in a variety of climatic conditions. And although this berry bush is rather unpretentious, it still requires some care. Pruning and caring for black currants in spring are those operations on which not only the harvest depends, but also the health of the bush, its long and active fruiting.

Why spring currant pruning is needed

A feature of currants, like many other berry bushes, is active fruiting only on young shoots. The peak yield is achieved on young branches, older ones bear much worse. At the same time, the shrub is forced to waste nutrients irrationally, use them not for ripening berries and the formation of fresh shoots, but for maintaining the life of older ones. Regular cutting of branches over 3 years old perfectly rejuvenates the bush, promotes its active growth and fruiting.

Spring pruning is also of great sanitary importance. After winter, some of the shoots can be broken under the weight of snow, often the bushes are spoiled by rodents or other animals, some branches can suffer from frost. In such shoots, insect pests usually lay offspring; in the folds and cracks of the bark, spores of the fungus or pathogens can be found. During spring pruning, all damaged and dried branches are removed.

The next most important function of spring pruning is bush formation. The currant grows chaotically, forming a large number of young shoots. Over time, the inner space of the bush turns out to be heavily shaded, air exchange is disrupted in it, and this leads to the appearance of diseases and a drop in yield. In the course of spring pruning, thickening shoots are removed, and shoots growing deeper into the bush are also cut. In addition, the number of shoots can be normalized if the task is to obtain a crop with good marketable properties.

When can you cut currants in spring

The timing of pruning black currants in the spring depends on the region of growth. The optimal time is when the growing season on the bushes has not yet begun, but the frost has already stopped. You can navigate this issue by melting snow, as a rule, the optimal time for spring pruning coincides with the complete disappearance of the snow cover. At this time, the air temperature is kept within + 3-5 ° C, but sap flow inside the shoots has not yet begun, the buds have not yet begun to swell. In Central Russia, black currants are pruned in late March or early April, in the northern regions a little later.

Important! If the timing of pruning in the spring is missed, and leaves began to bloom on the bushes, it is better to postpone pruning until autumn. Failure to carry out the procedure will significantly weaken the currants, rehabilitation will be long, the terms of fruiting will be greatly delayed, and the yield will decrease.

Features of pruning currant bushes in spring

Pruning currants in the spring is usually not difficult, even for novice gardeners. However, some varieties of this shrub, or rather, red and white currants, have slight differences in the scheme and method of the procedure compared to black.

Pruning red currants in spring

Red currants, unlike black ones, do not age so rapidly. Its shoots are able to bear fruit well up to 5, and in the case of good care, up to 7-8 years. The annual growth of red currants is much smaller, therefore, the pruning of this shrub is not carried out so intensively in the spring. As a rule, branches are removed only after their annual growth has decreased to 15 cm or less. In the spring, the bushes must be sanitized, all diseased, dry and damaged branches must be cut out at the root.

The pruning schemes for black and red currants in spring are slightly different. An important feature of red currants is that their main fruiting occurs in the zone of annual growth, so they do not pinch it. This is how it differs from the black one, the berries of which ripen, as a rule, on the lower part of the shoots. Therefore, shortening the growth of black currant will not have a noticeable effect on the yield, unlike its red or white variety.

Pruning black currants in spring

The bulk of the black currant crop ripens on the shoots of 2-3 years of life. Therefore, it makes no sense to leave branches 5 years and older on the bush, since fruiting on them is weak, and they take quite a lot of nutrients. Such branches must be cut completely in the spring, younger ones must be shortened. Annual shoots are cut to 1/3 of their length. Excess root growth is removed completely. This is, in brief, the scheme for pruning black currants in spring.

Pruning white currants in spring

There is no fundamental difference between white and red currants. Their structure and life cycle are the same, the only difference is that there is no coloring pigment in the berries. Therefore, when pruning white currants in spring, the gardener should follow the same rules as for red.

How to prune currants in spring

A garden pruner is used for cutting currants in the spring; for thick old branches, it will be more correct to use a lopper. The cutting edges must be sharpened before work, in this case the cut will be smooth and clean, without torn edges. It will heal much faster this way. Before starting work, the cutting tool must be disinfected with any alcohol-containing liquid to exclude the possibility of infection.

Important! When the shoot is completely removed, the cut should be performed as close to the ground as possible, without leaving hemp.

There are several techniques for performing pruning. Depending on the purpose, they can be as follows:

Important! When carrying out work, it is imperative to use protective goggles and gloves.

Sanitary pruning

Sanitary pruning of currants is carried out not only in spring, but also in autumn, as well as in cases of emergency, for example, when a bush is affected by a disease or mechanical damage. The purpose of this procedure is to remove debris (broken and dried shoots), which is usually a breeding ground for disease and a place of accumulation of pest larvae. In addition to cleaning, it is necessary to cut out excess root growth, lighten the inner space of the bush

Formative pruning

Formative pruning of the currant bush is carried out in the spring for several years, starting from 1 year after planting. It consists in normalizing the amount of young growth, as well as adjusting the direction of growth and strengthening the lateral branching of branches. As a result of such an operation, the bush should increase by 3-4 strong branches annually. The ultimate goal of formative pruning is to form a powerful fruiting bush by the age of 4-5, consisting of 15-20 shoots of different ages. For beginners, you can clearly see the stages of pruning currants in spring at different periods of life in the pictures below.

  • After planting a black currant seedling in a permanent place, the shoots are cut to a height of 0.15-0.25 m from the ground. In this way, the growth of lateral shoots is stimulated.
  • For 2 years, the growth is normalized - from all young shoots, 3-4 of the most powerful and promising shoots are chosen, evenly spaced around the circumference of the bush. In the middle of summer, their growth point is pinched, giving an impetus to the development of lateral branches. Shoots of the 2nd order are shortened, leaving from 4 to 8 buds on them.
  • At 3 and 4 years, the formation of the black currant bush continues. Weak young growth is cut at the root. Branches should also be removed if they intersect with each other and grow deep into the bush. From 2 to 4 shoots are left annually, growing evenly along the periphery of the bush. First-year shoots are pinched, older branches are shortened by 2-4 buds from each branch.
  • On the 5th and next year, the bushes begin to partially rejuvenate. 3-5 of the strongest stems are chosen from the growing basal shoots, all the rest are cut out at ground level. Old fruiting branches are pruned annually, and after 6-7 years they are completely cut out. And also remove the side branches if they lie on the ground.

With the help of pruning, you can form currants on a trunk. For this, only one shoot is left, regularly cutting out all the rest of the root growth. In the middle of summer, the crown is pinched, this promotes lateral branching. The currant on the trunk has a beautiful decorative appearance. In addition, ripening berries will have a larger size and good taste, however, the yield will be noticeably smaller. A significant disadvantage of this technology is the rapid aging of the bush, currants on a trunk can grow for no more than 5 years.

Important! When growing in a standard way, the shoot must be tied to a support.

In addition to the traditional one, there are many special ways of cutting currants, which have been used in different years to increase yields.

  1. Michurinsk pruning. Its positive quality is the high yield of the bushes, this method allows you to collect 1/3 more berries than with the usual method. This technique is used in farms involved in the cultivation of marketable products. Here are the basic principles for the formation of a black currant bush for this type.
  • During the first 5 years, the bushes are not pruned, they grow freely and bear fruit.
  • Upon reaching 5 (sometimes 6) years, half of the bushes are mowed at the root in the spring, after 1 year the second half is cut off. After cutting, the bushes are intensively fed.
  • A year after cutting, 1/5 of the newly grown shoots are left, the rest are cut out at the root in the spring.
  • 2-3 years after the first cut, the blackcurrant bush is completely removed and in the spring it is replaced with a new seedling.
  1. Pruning for beginners. The method allows you to get a good result and at the same time minimizes the number of operations and, accordingly, the probability of error. Here are the basic principles of this type of blackcurrant pruning.
  • The branch age does not matter. If its annual growth is less than 15 cm, it must be removed.
  • Excess zero shoots are removed if the bush is heavily thickened.

Experienced gardening tips

Currant is a very popular berry shrub, and gardeners have a lot of experience with it. Here are some practical tips for trimming it.

  • The average life of a black currant bush is 15 years, red and white - 20-25 years. You should not strive to endlessly rejuvenate it, it is much easier and more effective to uproot the old one and plant a new bush in its place.
  • Currants are excellent cuttings. For harvesting cuttings, you can use cut parts of the shrub, if they are not damaged by pests or disease.
  • In order not to harm the black currant bush, it is necessary to carry out pruning for the first time under the guidance of an experienced specialist.
  • Compared to spring, autumn is considered a more promising time to prune black currants. This is largely due to the fact that the spring period of time suitable for the procedure is rather short and with the friendly onset of warm weather with terms it is easy to be late. In autumn, the procedure can be performed slowly and with high quality. But for white and red currants, spring pruning is more preferable, in addition, many gardeners prune these species even in summer, immediately after harvest.
  • Sanitary cleaning of currant bushes from dry or broken branches can be done at any time, not just in spring and autumn.
  • The best time to pinch young currant shoots is mid-July.
  • If the branches are old, but fruitful, then you should not rush to remove them. Active fruiting can be prolonged by transferring its growth to the nearest strong lateral shoot.
  • Different varieties of currants give different annual growth. Fast-growing species shorten more, such shrubs reach the age limit faster, and the maximum age of the shoots in them should not exceed 5 years.

Video for beginner gardeners about pruning currants in the spring:

Care after pruning

After pruning, all large sections must be coated with garden varnish. It is advisable to use natural-based products for this. After sanitary pruning, all branches must be collected and burned. To reduce the stress from the surgery, the currants are fed. In the spring, it is better to do this with organic matter, for example, rotted manure or compost. Nitrogen fertilizers such as nitrophoska can also be added. After the autumn pruning, nitrogen-containing fertilizers are not applied. At this time, currants need phosphorus and potassium mineral compositions for lignification of green shoots and better preparation for winter.

Important! All top dressing must be embedded in the soil of the root zone, after which abundant watering must be done.


Pruning and caring for black currants in spring are the main activities that shape the future harvest. The health of the shrub, the duration of its active fruiting depends on their timely and high-quality implementation. Pruning currants is not particularly difficult, but you need to approach this event responsibly. Inexperienced or untimely pruning can greatly weaken, and in some cases destroy the shrub.

Watch the video: How to Prune Your Blackcurrants For High Yields (September 2022).


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