Fruit trees require management, if you want a consistent, bountiful harvest. You have to put in the time and energy to prune your fruit trees correctly after you plant them and over their lives, to encourage enough fruit production, to train the branches into the right shape for harvesting fruit, and to allow for air and sunlight to circulate through and ripen the fruit. A trained arborist can help you know when and how to prune your specific, unique trees correctly, or they can come out and do it for you. Read on for the basics of fruit tree pruning, but be realistic with yourself about when it is time to call in a professional.
Fruit Tree Anatomy
Before we get down to the basic steps of pruning your fruit trees, it is important to know the vocabulary. A “spur” is a short, stubby branch that forms on the older growth branches. The spurs are where the individual fruit actually grows, so you need to make sure that you have enough spurs for a good crop, but not so many that the weight of the ripened fruit could break the branch. You need older branches, 2+years old, for the spurs to grow off of, but you also need to be able to recognize the suckers that have grown from the previous season’s growth. “Suckers” are named that because they don’t produce fruit, but they suck away the energy and growing power from the tree. They are the branches that grow straight up from the tree, rather than branching out in a manageable way. Get rid of the suckers, so that the tree can focus on the good branches and create spurs there.
Quick Steps For Simple Pruning Jobs
Pruning of fruit trees should be done in late winter to early spring. If you do it earlier, you risk damaging the tree through dehydration. Prune after there are buds, but before any of them open. When pruning your tree, start by removing any deadwood. Then, remove any diseased branches, or any branches that will interfere with tree growth or fruit production or other operations in your yard. Prune for tree shape and encourage the branches to grow out but not up for best fruit production. Remember that each cut will be an open wound, so don’t lop off branches unnecessarily.
Tree Care and Maintenance from Harford Tree
Ready to have the beautiful yard you have always dreamed of? Harford Tree Experts & Landscaping, Inc has been in the business for decades, providing customers with quality work and quick responses all at the right price. We service the areas of Harford County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City areas including Bel Air, Fallston, Perry Hall, Towson, Essex, Parkville, White Marsh and Middle River.
For service during business hours, reach out to us or give us a call at 410-592-7321. We offer 24/7 emergency service as well, just give us a call at 443-250-6649. For updates about our business and more informative tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.