Pruning Fruit Trees: How to Keep Your Garden Healthy
Date February 17, 2022
If you’re like most homeowners, you probably take great pride in your garden. It’s a wonderful way to spend a weekend afternoon – surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers, enjoying the fresh air. But to keep your garden looking its best, you need to perform regular maintenance tasks, such as pruning fruit trees. In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to properly prune your fruit trees so that they stay healthy and productive.
Do I Need to Prune My Fruit Tree?
Pruning is an important part of tree care, and should never be skipped. Even young trees need to be pruned. If your tree is not pruned, it can become overgrown and lose its shape. If your tree has poor air circulation, it may also be more susceptible to disease and pests.
If a fruit tree is not well maintained, it can grow poor-quality fruit. There is nothing worse than spending time and money planting fruit trees in your garden, only to have them produce poor-quality fruit.
When Should I Prune My Fruit Trees?
The perfect time to prune your fruit tree depends on your goals! If you’re trying to help your newly planted fruit tree grow faster? Or do you have a large established tree that’s getting too tall?
If you’re pruning a newly planted fruit tree, these are best to prune in late winter. This will help the fruit tree spur new growth come the spring.
If your fruit tree is too large, it’s best to prune it in the spring. This will reduce the size of the fruit tree and make it more manageable for your harvest.
How Do I Prune My Fruit Tree?
To know how to prune, we have to start with how old your tree is. If you’re recently planted a new fruit tree or a bare root fruit tree. A bare root fruit tree will need to be pruned up to one-third of the tree. This will help the bare root fruit tree grow strong branches.
If your tree is older and hasn’t been well maintained by regular pruning, it is best to consult with an ISA-Ce rtified arborist to schedule a pruning and have regular pruning sessions done.
Step 1: The 3 D’s
The first step is pruning your fruit tree is to take care of the three D’s! Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. If you’re unsure of whether a branch is dead, try the scratch test! Gently scratch off the outer bark on a twig or branch to expose the inner bark. If the inner bark is moist, flexible, green, and looks fresh, the branch is probably alive. If it’s dry and brittle, the twig or branch is not living, remove this branch as part of step 1.
Remove any water spouts, or straight sprouts growing off of branches. As well as any sprouts coming out from the base of the trunk. These are called “suckers” and should be removed as well.
Step 2: Thinning Out the Canopy
The second step of pruning your fruit tree is thinning out the top. The goal of thinning the tree is to allow light and air circulation between the branches.
When looking at the canopy, remove any branches that are growing downward, or that crosses paths with other branches.
Once you’ve thinned out a few branches, take a step back and take a look at the canopy. We want the branches to be spaced evenly and not have branches compete with each other.
If you’re having trouble finding what branches to trim, don’t worry! Contact an ISA-Certified arborist, like those at TreeNewal, to help you prune your fruit tree!
Step 3: Give a Haircut
The last step of pruning your fruit tree is the easiest step! You just give your fruit tree a haircut! The idea is to prune the outermost growth of your branches to make sure the branches grow thicker and stronger. You will want to cut 20 -30% of the previous year’s growth.
How to Get the Best Prune
If you’re wanting to make sure you get the best pruning possible, call TreeNewal! We are ISA-Certified arborists and can help you with all of your fruit tree pruning needs!
We hope this blog post has helped you understand how to prune your fruit tree, and when the best time is to do it. If you have any questions or would like more information, don’t hesitate to call our team of ISA-Certified arborists!
To learn more about Pruning Fruit Trees: How to Keep Your Garden Healthy, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams
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Healthy trees, healthy lives.