Medium pruning is generally done between 45-55 cm followed by the removal of knots, diseased wood etc. even from below the general pruning height. All large cuts should be treated with a protective bituminous paint, like Indopaste within 24 hours of the pruning, preferably on the same day. To prevent the bushes from sun-scorching, the branches may be lime washed and covered with the pruning litters immediately after the prune.
Medium prune is best done from mid-December to end January. In drought prone areas medium pruning should preferably be done in January. Under no circumstances this operation should be carried out before mid-November.
A few other precautionary measures are necessary before and after medium pruning to prevent the die-back and death of bushes.
- The bushes must have adequate reserve of carbohydrates in roots. Resting of the bushes for 6-8 weeks before pruning is, therefore, beneficial for root reserve.
- Adequate manuring before and after pruning is also important.
In medium prune tea, leaving at least two “breathers” (lung shoots) in the south west side of the bush has the following beneficial effects:
i) Provides shade to reduce sun-scorch.
ii) Removes harmful metabolites from the roots.
iii) Mobilizes growth substances towards the production of new shoots.
iv) Contributes photosynthates to the roots.
v) Influences growth of feeder roots.
However, if medium pruning is done at a time when starch reserves are optimum, no additional benefit would be obtained by retaining lungs in the year of prune or in the subsequent years. Lungs kept on the bush should be cut back after the new flush of shoots on the bushes has produced some leaves.