Pruning Your Fruit Trees
There are plenty of reasons to keep your fruit trees pruned, chief among them is that you want to keep them looking good and healthy but also because you want them to continue to grow and bear quality fruit.
Another big reason is that pruned trees add a lot to your landscaping and can increase the value of your property. Keeping your trees in good condition improves the shape of it too and let’s face it, a tree with dead or diseased limbs won’t impress anyone.
Among esthetics and general appearance, pruning your fruit tree promotes its balanced growth, helping it handle miserably cold temperatures, as well as the worst kind of heat. It can also help make the roots stronger, which can keep it standing upright in horrible storms. Perhaps the best argument for keeping your trees in good condition is that it will inspire and manage better fruit production.
So, now that you now why you need to keep your trees pruned, here are some tips for doing so:
- During cold dormant months, scan your tree for any branches that might be rubbing against one another. If you do see some, cut and remove the branches with a pruning saw.
- Using bypass pruners, trim away smaller branches to open up the middle of the tree. This becomes a thinning process to manage symmetry within the overall tree, opening up more light infusion into the center of the tree, preventing overbearing of fruit that won’t produce properly, and generally manages the size of the tree making it easier to harvest it’s fruit.
- This thinning and pruning process will usually eliminate previous year’s vertical branches with the center of the tree. Pruning will be accomplished with a combination of loppers, hand pruners, and sometimes a hand held pruning saw varying on the size of the branch being removed.
- Varying on the type of fruit tree, size management being desired, and location of tree in the landscape, often this can demand pruning back appx. 1/3 or more of the overall tree’s size and canopy and you should prune the tree again the following year and the year after.
Not everything about pruning your tree has to do with cutting away parts of it. In order to make sure your tree is in the best possible shape, you should also make sure you get rid of any grass from around the trunk, use bark mulch around it’s trunk to help suppress unwanted vegetative growth around the trunk, and, when needed, manage supplemental watering during the hot drier months of our summer season.
Among these pruning & care procedures, fertilizing your fruit trees in early spring (February thru March) is highly advisable to manage health and vigor within the tree being managed and talk to one of our fruit tree specialists to understand the needs of insect & disease control need to protect general health, foliage, and fruit from being hindered to natural pests. This varies from one fruit tree type to another so lean on our specialists to learn what’s best for your fruit trees.
It doesn’t require a lot of work to maintain your fruit trees but if you aren’t able to prune them yourself, hire a tree service to take care of them. Your trees will thank you for it and you’ll enjoy even more wonderful fruit from them!