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Lawn & Garden

Pruning Fruit Trees



When should we prune fruit trees?


Prune fruit trees in the fall or winter when dormant. Pruning a dormant fruit tree will invigorate tree growth come spring and it will be much easier to see what you are doing. Don’t prune a fruit tree heavily while there is fruit on it, as this will cause the fruit to get sunburn. It will also slow down ripening due to removing the leaves that produce food and sugars. Heavier pruning in a fruit trees younger years will promote fuller, faster growth.  It will not hurt to take off a branch here or there in the summer if necessary. Avoid Pruning young fruit trees. Only prune more mature trees and do it each year when the tree is dormant.


Why do we prune fruit trees?


Pruning fruit trees is necessary in order to keep fruit trees healthy and to promote healthy yields. Pruning opens the tree up to sunlight, which in turn produces larger, sweeter fruit. Thinning out trees also helps with air circulation, which prevents diseases like powdery mildew. Healthy trees are also less prone to insects.



Horizontal branches VS. Vertical branches


One is not better than the other. Vertical branches are the vegetative branches that hold the fruit producing, horizontal branches. Too many vertical branches can crowd a tree. Have vertical branches properly spaced to allow sunlight to a tree. Horizontal branches that point inside the tree are prime candidates to be pruned off as well as branches pointing straight up into the tree. Horizontal branches pointing up at a 45 to 60 degree angle are great for main vegetative branches. Branches pointing down will become shaded and unproductive and therefore should be removed. Remove any broken branches and any branches that touch or rub together, as this is breeding ground for disease. Doing a majority of your pruning at the top of the tree will allow the tree to become drenched with sun and produce the best yields. Seal each cut with a pruning seal to keep out disease and insects.


Some trees require heavier pruning than others. Peach trees are quite aggressive and require heavy thinning out, where apple trees require much lighter pruning.

 Image result for peach trees home depot


What kind of fruit trees are you pruning? Let us know.



Other Related Articles:


Which fruit trees are self pollinating and which require a cross pollinator?

How to grow and care for apple trees


Growing Banana Trees


How to Grow Almond Trees


Tips for Growing Pecan Trees in the South


How to Tap a Tree For Maple Syrup


Watering Fruit Trees


Caring For Citrus Trees

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Posted 2017-11-09T19:39:12+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL
Greetings Ingar, 

Great information as always! Growing up in Boston I did not get too much exposure to fruit bearing trees, so I soak in any tips that you send our way.  You would suggest bypass pruners for all fruit tree pruning, unless it is dead wood...correct?

Peach trees are highly prized here in the Boston area, the peach tree is the most sought after in the spring by customers. Sales of peach trees and dwarf fruits of all varieties are the first to go, I imagine it is because of the compact structure and the space the trees require that makes them favorites among urban gardeners.

Thanks for the tips and the links to all the information available on the Home Depot Community pertaining to fruit trees growth, development and care!

What are your favorite varieties peach trees...coming from the land of peaches, is one easier than another, what are your recommendations?... Bostonian's would like to know!                    Maureen
Posted 2017-11-14T13:46:41+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS
Hey Maureen.

You will find recommended varieties on the Growing Peach Tree article. Peach trees are so popular because they do not require a second tree to produce, as they are self pollinating (except J.H. Hale).

Bypass Pruners are always recommended for any type of pruning.
Posted 2017-11-15T18:03:25+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL

I too, prefer bypass pruners, but I have been impressed by a couple of Anvil Pruners made by Fiskars.

Fiskars 3-Piece Lopper, Hedge shear, Pruner Tree and Shrubcare Kit

Anvil pruners can be easier when pruning hard, dead wood that will snap off when cut. Roses are good examples of this type of branch. When the branches will fit comfortably in the jaws of the pruners, the cut is predictable with either hand since the blade does not need specific tension to cut the branch. 

Fiskars 5/8 in. Cut Capacity Titanium Coated Steel Blade Anvil Hand Pruner

Some of the Fiskars anvil pruners have a curved blade the facilitates the cut with greater ease and less pressure on your hand. The curved blade will pass through the branch more efficiently than a straight blade on a flat anvil. 

Fiskars 24 in. Titanium Anvil Ratchet Lopper

This Power Gear Titanium Anvil Lopper is my favorite!  

 Fiskars 13-1/4 in. Power-Gear Titanium Anvil Lopper

At just over 13 inches, this little lopper cuts like a champ!


Posted 2017-11-28T15:09:42+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL
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