Learning when to prune fruit trees creates an open frame that is resilient enough to support all those incredible fruits without splitting. Accurate pruning timing and technique is the secret to healthy and vibrant trees and crops. Keep reading for tips and techniques on pruning fruit trees.
When to Prune Fruit Trees
Most fruit trees don't necessitate pruning every year. Early fruit tree pruning is vital to aiding young trees to develop open canopies and thick stems where air and sunlight can enter and encourage growth.
The best time for fruit tree pruning is at the beginning of spring when trees are dormant and before buds break. Perform pruning at planting time to slice the new stem off from the ground and eliminate any side shoots. This technique helps the new tree have balanced growth and low limbs. Also, it aids the root system to keep the tree from becoming top-heavy.
You can't anticipate much fruit in the first 24 – 36 months. During this period, the tree develops low limbs for better fruiting. This preparation for young trees takes several forms. This sort of training provides the tree with a sturdy trunk and crossway branching stems that begin around 30 inches from the soil.
Fruit Tree Pruning After the First Year
The goal is to encourage fruiting branches, improve scaffold strength, and reduce crossing and rubbing. The best time for pruning freshly planted fruit trees is in the summertime.
Pruning a Fruit Tree After Three Years
You will dedicate the first three years to overseeing the scaffold, getting rid of any secondary stems, downward growth, crossing branches, waterspouts, and pushing back lateral growth.
Older trees also receive dormant pruning to keep the lateral limbs in the right shape by trimming them back. Dormant pruning at the beginning of springtime is also the time to get rid of wayward growth and deadwood that reduces fruiting.
Once the tree becomes older, pruning is practically pointless except to cut water sprouts, dead wood, and weak limbs if correct care occurred. Unkempt fruit trees might need severe restoration pruning, reviving the scaffold.
Reach out to Syracuse Tree Service to learn more about free tree pruning.
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