When to prune fruit trees? The answer to this question is contingent on your objectives.
Some people may want to decrease the size of their tree. Others might want to encourage growth in their fruit tree. Proper tree pruning at the correct time of year could help you accomplish those objectives.
Technique and timing of fruit tree pruning can improve the quality and amount of your crop. Knowing when to trim fruit trees makes an open scaffold that is resilient enough to support all those wonderful fruits without cracking. Accurate pruning is the key to healthy trees and abundant crops. Continue reading for tips and techniques on how you can prune your fruit trees.
When to Prune Fruit Trees
Fruit trees don’t necessitate yearly pruning once they’ve undergone training. Initial fruit tree pruning is vital to aiding young trees in generating open canopies and thick stems where light and air can encourage flowering. Also, pruning fruit trees help to diminish bacteria and fungus.
The peak time for fruit tree pruning is at the time of planting. Afterward, prune your fruit tree in early springtime while the tree is dormant. You can also prune your fruit tree in the wintertime. Without all the leaves, you have a clear picture to see what you’re doing.
Start pruning at planting time, where you slice the new stem off 24 to 30 inches from the bottom, eliminating any side shoots. This procedure makes the new tree balance growth and the root system and develops low limbs to keep the tree from getting top-heavy during formation.
Don’t expect too much fruiting in the first 24 to 36 months since the tree grows low limbs for better fruiting. This preparation for young trees could take several forms, but the most common is central leader training. This sort of activity provides the tree with a durable trunk and horizontally branching stems. Creating the scaffold is done by picking a scaffold whorl, four to five balanced branches, which will make the base of the tree.
Fruit Tree Pruning: First Year
It’s crucial to understand how to prune a fruit tree for the first 36 months. The aim is to heighten scaffold strength, encourage fruiting branches and reduce crossing and rubbing. The best time for fruit tree pruning (the ones just planted) is in the summertime.
After the new growth reaches 3 to 4 inches, pick the central leader and eliminate the other branches under it. Side limbs are spread with toothpicks or comparable items to create crotch angles of 45 to 60 degrees from the central leader. This process lets in maximum air and light, creating sturdy limbs that can handle plump fruit and won’t break. After five to six weeks, get rid of these spreaders.
Prune a Fruit Tree After Three Years
Dedicate the first three years to supervising the scaffold and eliminating any crossing limbs, secondary stems, and waterspouts. Also, head back lateral growth to one-quarter of their total length, forcing side limbs.
Also, dormant pruning is for mature trees to retain the correct shape of the lateral branches. Keeping the form entails using angle cuts to slice the limbs back to around two-year-old wood. Dormant pruning in early springtime is also the moment to get rid of deadwood and errant growth. Insufficient growth decreases fruiting.
When the tree is mature, pruning is pointless except to decrease waterspouts, downward weak limbs, and eliminate deadwood if proper training occurred. Unkempt fruit trees might need severe rejuvenation pruning, which revives the scaffold and reduces the fruit load for many years.
It is essential to know how to perform fruit tree pruning. Pruning is vital for neglected fruit trees, so the wood doesn’t weaken, split, or break. Moreover, crowded trees produce lousy fruit production, so canopy management is a concern for mature plants.
Contact the tree care professionals at Tree Worx when you need help pruning your fruit trees.