Time To Prune Fruit Trees

   01.11.18

Time To Prune Fruit Trees

We are in the dead of winter, and it is time to prune the fruit trees. In a couple of months fruit trees will be budding and putting on new growth.

Why prune?

Long limbs are not conductive to growing fruit. Take a pear tree for example. If a long limb gets loaded with pears, the limb will sage, may break, or may touch the ground. Fruit that touches the ground is a conduit for diseases and insects.

Prune the long limbs back, and they will spout new growth, which is where the fruit will grow. On certain types of fruit trees, such as peach, fruit grows on new growth limbs. Pruning promotes the tree to sprout new limbs. The more new limbs that grow, the more fruit you get.

Keeping the tree pruned so new fruit bears on low lying branches makes it easier to pick. Would you rather walk about the tree and pick fruit, or have to use a ladder?

Pruning the limbs so all the branches get sunlight helps to tree. With only the highest branches getting sunlight, the tree may not grow like it should. Take a peach tree for example. I have always heard to prune it so there are four or five branches coming off the trunk about three feet off the ground.  When those branches get established, prune them again so the branches fork.

Here is a thread on the forum that goes into details about fruit trees – Planting a peach tree and talking about fruit trees. The images have been blocked by Photobucket, but there is an excellent discussion on the topic.

Over the past few years I have neglected a a couple of my pear trees and they grew excessively long limbs. Now those limbs have to be pruned back.

At the very back of the property that is a nice fig tree that also needs to be pruned. It made some figs in 2017.  So I am hoping for a nice crop in 2018.

The apple trees, I will probably let them go another year before they are pruned.

Ok guys and gals, what types of fruit trees do you have planted? Are you taking care of them?

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