pruning & plucking in tea garden

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A paper on pruning & plucking in tea gardens.

Text of pruning & plucking in tea garden

Definition:Pruning is a vital operation for tea management to limit the top growth and to stimulate the growth of the bush. Pruning is a process to the tea bush at a certain height to control the vertical growth and allow it expanding horizontally for comfortable plucking with renewed and vigorous branching pattern.

Fig: Pruning operation

Objectives of Pruning:Some objectives of pruning are: to check the reproductive growth and provide stimulus for vegetative growth especially for the production of young shoot that constitute the crop. to remove the dead wear and unproductive wood. to renew the actively growing branches which can support the sufficient volume of maintenance foliase on it. to maintain the height and dead frame for economic plucking. to increase the growth hormone for vegetative growth. to derive store energy for the production of the growing shoot. to improve bush hygienic.

to reduce the incidence of pest and diseases which help to rejuvenate the bushes for the maximum cross production.1

to regulate the crop harvest. to renew the growing branches and maintenance the foliage to meet physiological needs

of the plant. minimizing formation of banjhi and spreading of pests and diseases. controlling crop during rush period and to achieve better crop distribution.

maintaining quality in the processed Tea. to help the structure of flush. easy to plucking of the Tea leaf.

Types of Pruning:According to the age of the tea population pruning may be two types: Pruning in immature Tea plant. Pruning in mature Tea plant.

Pruning in immature Tea plant may be divided into three parts: Decentering Breaking Bending

Pruning in maturing Tea plant may be divided into six types: Collar prune [cp] Heavy prune[hp] Medium prune[mp] Light prune[lp]\Top prune[tp]\Cut across prune. Skiff prune [sp]\Lung prune[lp]

Skiff prune may be divided into five types :2

Deep skiff [DSK] Medium skiff [MSK] Light skiff [LSK] Level of skiff [LOSK] Unpruned [UP]

Light prune {LP}: Initial light pruning operation is generally given at 60-75 cm. and regulatedin such a way that the maximum plucking level is restricted to 96-100cm. for 15-20 years before medium pruning is done. Light pruning should be given at 4-5cm. above the previous pruned level and it is the most important operation in a pruning cycle. This will ensure the development of strong new shoots with minimum die-back.

Objectives of Light prune: To renew the wood. To regulate the distribution of crop. To get rid of excessive crop. To maintain the dead and drought branches.

Collar Prune: Collar pruning is the most severe operation in which the bole of the bush is cutat the ground level or even 5 cm. below ground level.It helps to remove the dead and defunct wood and development of good ,healthy and new primary frames.It also important for restoration of plant density by in filling or interplanting. For this perform carbohydrate content needs 18.5%.

Objectives of Collar prune: To maintain shape/size of the plant or bush when it is out of shape. If the structure of growthness of plant doesnt properly, need CP. When plants are diseased collar prune is needed. When plant bush structure destroyed then collar prune is needed for rejuvenation.

Medium Prune:Medium pruning is performed at level between 45-65 cm. The main object is to reduce the plucking table for efficient maintenance when it attains the height of 95 cm. The exact height on3

which a section should be reduced depends on the average form and if previous cut has been satisfactory ,the cut may be between 55-68 cm. from the ground level. But the height should not be lower than necessary to remove the knots and congestion.

Objectives of Medium prune: To reduce frame height of bush. Medium prune is effective for produce new branch and leaf. To reduce incidence of pest and disease. To reduce the incidence of excess biomass of bush frame. To remove knot renew wood. When to create a problem/abnormal problem, then it is needed. To facilitate consolidation by infilling vacancy.

Heavy or Low Pruning:Heavy pruning is a varient of collar pruning and when the height of the frame of the bushes that they are difficult to pluck and when the branches have formed snags and knots then heavy pruning become necessary.The height of heavy pruning dependson the type of Tea and condition of the frame.Generally the bole is cut at 15-45 cm.

Skiffing Prune:It is performed just at the top of the plant.

Finger / lung prune:It may be performed between 70-80 cm.

Skiffing Prune: Deep skiff(DSK): Deep skiff is to cut the bush half way between the last pruning mark andthe tipping height, usually 75-85 cm. or it should be cut 12-15 cm. above the last light prune so as to leave a fork on the stem to increase the number of new plucking shoots.

Objectives of Deep skiff:4

To regulate the distribution of crop. To reduce the ill effect of drought. To get rid of excessive creep. To reduce height of plucking table. To longer the vegetative life of the plants.

Medium skiff (MSK): Medium skiff is to cut the bush at the mid way of deep skiff andtipping level,usually between 85-95 cm. or 5 cm. above the deep skiff.Its object is to cut below the majority crows feet to remove the most of the conjested growth above the junction of red and green wood.

Objectives of Medium skiff: To regulate the distribution of crop. To reduce the ill effect of drought. To reduce the incidence of excessive bungee formation. To reduce height of plucking table. To longer the vegetative life of the plants.

Light Skiff (LSK): Light skiff is to cut the bush at the mid way of the medium skiff andtipping height,usually 20 cm. above frome the last light pruning.It is performed at the current years tipping level to remove the creep foliase.

Level off skiff (LOSK):It is performed to level the the bush at the end seasons plucking level.It is to cut at the 8 cm. from the top of the bush of the current years tipping level.In the skiffed section pruning litters should be removed from the top of the bush to avoid infection of horse hair blight and thred blight diseases.



It is the most top layer of a tea population which portion is not cut.This portion may be found at the intervel period between two pruning practices.

Pruning administration:Pruning administration consists of following factors(1) Measuring stick supply. (2) Sharp knife and saw. (3) Cut should be parallel to the slope of ground. (4) Pruning litters preserved as mulch. (5) Advanced P,K (20-40) kg. above normal dose in spring season. (6) Winter wash oil for demossing. (7) The bitumine point in large cut. (8) Caustic wash for firm cleaning.

Pruning factors:Some factors are affected in pruning types and pruning cycle, such as:6

(1) Sun scorch damage. (2) Drought damage/Blister damage. (3) Growth time desired. (4) Rest period required. (5) Crop required. (6) Nutrient status. (7) Pest damage. (8) Yield required. (9) Well equipment.

Crop distributiona) The high treatment, UP, LOS, LSK, MSK, increase the first flush. b) LP and DSK increase second flush and main crop. c) HRP, MP, heavy prune and young tea increase the autumn crop.

Pruning Cycle:The interval time between two successive prune is called the pruning cycle.7

It varies from 1-6 years based on the following criteria:-Varity to variety. -Season to season. -Growth pattern of tea garden. -Soil climatology conditions. -Height of plucking level. -Quality and quantity of crop pattern. -Availability of pluckers.

Various pruning cycle:Specially in Bangladesh two pruning cycles are followed, such as:-Three years pruning cycle. -Four years pruning cycle.

Consequences of Pruning Cycle:The consequence of three years pruning cycle are as follows:LP:LSK:DSK The consequences four years pruning cycle are as follows:LP:MSK:DSK:LSK / LP:MSK:DSK:MSK

Time of pruning:According to the seasons different times of pruning are followed which are given as follows : In two seasons pruning operations can be performed.


Winter Season Pruning:In this season respiration rate low,rainfall and moisture suitable so that plant growth enough and light pruning and skiff pruning are performed.

Summer Season Pruning:In this season rainfall off, respiration high, rains and soil moisture low so collar type prune usually performed.

Pruning schedule of immature Tea population:Year 0 1 2 3 4 5 Months/Time April-May Types of pruning Planting Plucking height _ Above 50 cm. Above 50 cm. Above 52-55 cm. Above 70-75 cm. Above 78-80 cm.

January-February. Decentering, at 15-23 cm, height. Do Do Do Do Prune ,at 40 cm. Prune, above 50-55 cm. Prune,at 45-55 cm. Prune,at 75 cm.

Pruning schedule of mature Tea population:Pruning schedule of mature Tea population:


Types of prune Light prune (LP)

Months/ Time First DecemberEnd December (Week)

Deep skiff (DSK)

First FebruaryEnd February (Week)

Medium skiff (MSK) Light skiff (LSK)

Mid JanuaryFirst February (Week) End JanuaryWhole February (Week)

Medium prune (MP)

2430 Years.

Requirements of pruning:Some requirements should be fullfiled in order to successful pruning programme such as: (1) Pruning programme. (2) Sample inspection. (3) Starch test: Particularly starch test is used in young tea and that has not been rested until dormancy. (3 g iodine crystale + 6g potassiumm +1 litre water)/ Weak hospital iodine solution.Observation:- Dark black color.Decision:- Starch present. (4) To select pruning expert labour. (5) To select chemical reagents and equipments : such as measuring stick, soda or quicklime.