The easiest way to prune fruit trees

Within a few years of meticulously planting fruit tree, most people find their bushes are more lush than they imagined in the Garden of Eden. The key to keeping fruit trees attractive and productive is annual pruning.

Don’t worry, pruning fruit trees isn’t brain surgery. Curmudgeonly Master Gardener strains can tell you that different types of fruit are trimmed in different ways, which is true to an extent, but there is an easy three-step process that works for most people. number of fruit trees.

What is pruning, and why do we prune fruit trees?

Prune fruit treesthe use of secateurs, loppers or pruning saws to remove unwanted plant material, in order to allow the fruit tree to continue to produce fruit in a way that’s healthy for the tree, and accessible to harvest.

Why are prune fruit trees?

If you’re on the hunt for wild fruit and berries, you’ve probably noticed that many of our suburban and rural towns’ wild fruit trees are never pruned or tended – but usually bear plenty of fruit and flowers.So – why do we prune?

Well, our expectations for berries and fruit trees in a home or commercial orchard are often very different from what we expect from wild plants. For example – no matter what a wild tree looks like, no matter how shape or damage it is, how small the fruit is or how often it bears, we often get so excited about finding a wild fruit that we forget all other worries.

But with fruit trees that we buy and grow ourselves, those expectations often change. Therefore, we prune to achieve one or more of the following goals:

  • Keep fruit trees small and productive
  • Increase fruit size, fruit yield and fruit accessibility
  • Improve the structural strength of the branches and better support the fruit
  • Removal of lesions and damage
  • Remove branches that cross and cause blockages
  • Increase light and air movement to prevent fungal diseases associated with excess humidity in humid climates
  • Cultivate soft green stems useful for reproduction

Steps to prune fruit trees

The willingness to read, learn, observe and read more is essential, as is understanding how some fruit trees grow. But with just a few tools and a little faith, you can confidently prune and provide excellent care to your dear fruit tree friends year after year.

1. Clean up

Did the sprouts come from the bottom of the trunk? If so, remove them—technically, they’re called “suckers” and come from the rootstock rather than the fruit variety that was grafted onto it. How about a suspiciously straight rung growing out of some major branch? Those upright, perfectly vertical branches or “sprouts” – should also be removed. With all of these clean-up cuts, it’s important to trim branches flush with the larger branches they’re growing in — don’t leave small stubs.

Do sprouts grow directly from the main branch? These vertical branches are called “water sprouts” and should also be removed. Again, it’s important to prune these flush with larger branches without leaving stubs.

2. Thin Out

The next step is thinning, which should bring light and air into the treetops. This can boost fruit production and reduce the susceptibility of trees to pests and diseases.
Delete any branch: grow up, grow towards the center of the tree, cross path with another branch. Once you’ve removed those branches, step back from the tree to take a look. Are the branches evenly distributed and fanned out from the center?

If there are still branches competing with each other, look to see if any branches are growing at a narrow angle from the same fork. Alternatively, you may find two branches from different sources growing parallel to each other.
In this case, you want to keep the branch with the healthiest appearance and the best crotch angle (approximately 2 o’clock or 10 o’clock angle from the center of the tree). Larger angles can crack when loading fruit, while smaller angles can result in bushy growth and fruit that is too tall to pick.
Next, thin the tree further until you have 6 to 12 inches of air space around each branch. The smaller the branches, the closer they are to each other.
As with clearing cuts, all thinning cuts should be flush with the branches.

3. Return

The idea is to prune the outermost growth of the tree so that the branches become shorter and thicker as they grow, rather than becoming long and thin. This prevents them from cracking under the weight of the fruit, but orchardists (fruit scientists) will tell you that it also causes the tree’s hormones to activate growth below the canopy, resulting in smaller, more fruiting trees.

Pushing the tree back means cutting 20 to 30 percent of last year’s growth. You can tell the difference between last year’s growth and the biennial’s growth by the bark wrinkle ring around each stem. Depending on the strength of the tree, this can be anywhere from 2 inches to 4 feet from the top of each branch.

Unlike the previous steps, these cuts are made in the middle of each branch. The exact location of the cut is also important. Cut each branch back half an inch above the bud, pointing in the direction you want that branch to grow in the coming year. For example, if there is another branch near the left, cut back a bud on the right side of the branch.

Some notes when prune fruit trees

  • Should I prune my fruit trees in summer or winter prune fruit trees?

Cut stone fruits like plums, cherries, peaches, and apricots are best for summer. (Drupes can be identified by the single protruding stone in the middle of the fruit.)

This is because these fruit trees are susceptible to a disease called Cytospora canker if they are pruned in winter. This fungal disease can affect cuts made in cold weather. So prune these trees in warm weather to allow enough time for the wound to heal before deep winter.

Pome fruits such as apples, pears, papaya, and goji berries are usually cut off during hibernation. (Pome means apple in French.)

French fries are less susceptible to Cytospora canker, so they work well when pruned in cold weather. Winter pruning is a good idea because your tree will be fully mature and dormant, and any pruning then done will produce lush new growth in the spring.

Another note on summer tailoring…prune fruit trees

All fruit trees can also be pruned in summer – but be aware that pruning while the tree is still actively growing will limit its growth. So if you want to reduce the size of your tree, summer pruning may be your best option.

  • Understand the growth characteristics of a tree – leading, lateral and basal sides

The leader is the longest, strongest branch – or the longest, strongest branch in the middle of the tree.
A side shoot is any branch that grows away from the central leader or leader (where most fruit forms).
Secondary collaterals are the stems that grow from the laterals, basically in the third tier of the leader.
It’s up to you to decide which tribes will be your leaders. You can only choose a leader that goes straight up and into the middle of the tree (called the central leader). Or you can choose multiple leaders – maybe three, five or even 10. The choice depends on the space you have and what you plan to do with the tree – prune fruit trees

  • Helps your tree by reducing the effect of the tallest erect stem (prune fruit trees)

Remember – we want the side stems to grow, as these branches bear the most fruit. The trunk has many potential growth points along the tallest upright (apical) trunk. Many of these points are invisible but will appear the moment the apical dominance is removed.

Therefore, you can choose to reduce the top edge by either:

Cut off the tallest vertical stem or
Pull down a stem and tie it horizontally.
Whichever way you choose, reducing apical dominance helps ensure more fruit yields lower down the tree – which is easier to achieve.

  • Cutting skills

Sharp scissors ensure a clean – prune fruit trees, effortless cut. If you don’t know how to sharpen your knife, many nearby hardware stores usually offer this service for a small fee.
As a disease prevention measure, before pruning another tree, immerse the blades of the pruning shears in an isopropyl alcohol solution for 30 seconds to disinfect them.
Clean and discard trimmed wood around the tree – especially if it contains diseased material.

One of the solutions to help grow fast is to cut fruit trees-min
One of the solutions to help grow fast is to cut fruit trees-min

Fruit Tree Pruning FAQs

  • Why should a bare root tree be pruned immediately after planting?

When you first buy a bare-root tree in winter, the height of the tree does not match the size of its roots. This is because it is grown in pots, or planted tightly in the ground with little room for expansion at the roots. The tree will be well watered, fed and “cared for”. You’ll still take care of them once they’ve been removed from their cradles and planted, but not as intensely. At this point, you will be making your first plums.

  • Why do we prune back to three or six buds?

If the stem is weaker, we cut more to make the stem thicker to better support the future weight of the fruit. We prune it back to three buds, giving the tree 3 chances to form new vegetative shoots, the ones that produce leaves and stems. If neither the first nor the second sprout produces new shoots, the third sprout will surely succeed.

If the stems are thick and therefore well-structured, we reduce to six buds. This way, we have six buds that can produce potential side shoots – on which side shoots will produce fruit.

  • How do we know if a tree is two years or more old?

The tree regrows every season and then stops prune fruit trees. Eventually, the tree develops a terminal bud and a protruding line. You can use this to determine the age of the tree. Move your hand up and up along the central guide line until you can feel a raised textured surface wrapping around the stem. Here, growth has stopped and next year’s growth has already happened. Each bulge found represents a year of growth.

  • Why do I need to know the age of my young fruit trees?

Fruit trees begin bearing fruit in their second or third year (for dwarf varieties) or anytime after the first few years. The first year they had no results. Some fruit trees will only bear fruit when new growth appears prune fruit trees

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