Fruit tree pruning can generally be carried out in winter, spring or summer, depending on what your end goal is. Master gardeners may have differing opinions about the right way to prune a fruit tree, but there is a simple three-step process that works for the majority of fruit trees. Some trees, like orange trees, can be trimmed and pruned in early spring instead of winter. Fruit trees need pruning for two primary purposes: to establish the basic structure, and to provide light channels throughout the tree so that all the fruit can mature well. Summer pruning removes leaves (food manufacture), will slow fruit ripening, and exposes fruit to sunburn. It would be best if you pruned the trees at any time from late fall to early spring. We prune our trees between February 1st-April 1st. Pruning at this time of year, when the leaves have fallen, gives you a chance to see the overall shape and structure of your tree. The art to fruit tree pruning is not something that can be taught in a short article or video, but basic pruning technique is quite easy to understand, and once grasped, almost anyone can maintain a fruit tree, and do so successfully, year after year. Aim to prune the tree in late winter if you live in a frost-free zone. You can also prune overgrown apples and pears in summer. Unfortunately, pruning fruit trees is a task that's often neglected, leading to trees that create a lot of shade but few fruit. During the Fall we try to prune our fruit trees as little as possible so they can prepare themselves for winter! Also, new leaf growth from March to May can also block your view making cutting difficult! A non-profit-making company limited by guarantee. SERIES 31 | Episode 01. When To Prune Fruit Trees. Summer pruning may be fine, encouraged, or even necessary in some circumstances. This pruning should be done at the right time of year and on the right places on the tree to ensure that the fruit … Dull blades tear limbs and create stress and damage to a tree. Wise and careful tending accompany the growth of a healthy end-product. General tips: see our guide to winter pruning apples and pears. This article explores how pruning at different times of the year can affect your fruit tree's health and productivity. The pruning wounds also heal the best at this time and it's also easier to see the buds to be able to work around them. It is important to start cutting before the buds break and the tree becomes active for the warm months of the year. It’s damp and brown and doesn’t look very inviting. The optimum time of year to prune fruit trees is the dormant season, December, January (best) and until the middle of February, but note summer schedule for Apricots. Fruit tree pruning can generally be carried out in winter, spring or summer, depending on what your end goal is. How do you prune a neglected fruit tree?Start by removing the diseased and broken branches then thinning other low hanging and weak branches starting at the bottom. It doesn’t trigger the tree into producing lots of new growth so it's good for trees you want to keep small and for dwarf trees. These fruits are all plants from the genus Prunus and are best pruned lightly in the summer. We think the best time to start pruning branches is in the early spring. When: winter. So, why do we prune fruit trees? Fruit trees do not yield good produce on automatic, by no means. What time of year do you prune peach trees?The best time of the year to prune your peach trees is early spring, usually around March or April depending on the weather. How and when to prune your fruit trees can be a big question. Fruit trees: increase fruit production; develop strong 45-degree angles to support the fruit load; remove limbs that grow down or straight up; maintain tree size (5 to 10 feet is ideal size for a home orchard in terms of accessibility) maintain fruit spurs. The idea is to prune back the outermost growth of the tree so the branches become shorter and thicker as they grow, rather than long and gangly. 1. The best time, if there is one, is at the beginning of winter when most fruit trees are dormant. Avoid heavy pruning and don’t remove branches without good reason. Growing a fruit tree in your garden and wondering when is the best time prune a fruit tree? Improve fruit quality, with more minerals available to the fruit. If you're wondering when to prune your fruit trees, … Keep a careful eye out for disease, insects and other potential problems with bank, branches and buds during this time! Prune fruit trees when the leaves are off (dormant). Winter is the best time to prune deciduous fruit trees such as apples, pears and plums. It’s a good day for cutting and tidying. Pruning fruit trees is not as difficult and scary as many are led to believe. 1. TEN BASICS OF WHEN AND HOW TO PRUNE FRUIT TREES by Paul Vossen 1. Initial fruit tree pruning is important to help young trees produce thick stems and open canopies where light and air can enter and promote flowering, as well as reduce fungal and bacterial diseases. In this How to Prune Fruit Trees to Keep Them Small tutorial, we will learn specifically about fruit trees. When: ideally in spring and summer, either before or after flowering. What time of year do you prune plum trees?Prune your plum trees before the buds break in early spring time. What is the best time of year to prune fruit trees?Experts agree the best time to prune fruit trees is before they bud and the trees are still dormant from the winter. You should take away 1/3 of your tree through pruning every year. If you must prune that branch, trace it away from the tree to see if there is a narrower section, perhaps where it forks and prune there instead. And if you're going to err, Lee feels it's safer to prune a little bit later rather than earlier—especially with peaches. Our community of lawn and garden experts is always here to help whack your weeds! Pruning during the Winter also promotes growth because you can pick and choose the branches that look like they will produce the best fruit and cut away the rest! Most of your pruning cuts will be to branches that are between 1-5cm (½-2in). Fruit trees should be pruned every year in order to develop a strong tree structure, provide for light penetration, control the tree size, and to remove damaged wood. Prune fruit trees when the leaves are off (dormant). Here in Canada and I think it's like this most anywhere that the best time to prune a fruit tree is early in the spring while the tree is still dormant and before the growth activities begin. All fruit trees need to be pruned for a control of the production and useful life of the plant, in the apricot is not the exception. Prune laterals (side shoots) longer than 30cm (1ft) to 15cm (6in) all over the tree to encourage fruit bud formation; Spread the pruning between mid-August to mid-September. Fruit tree pruning is both an art and a science. Pruning your fruit bearing trees is key to strong growth and an overall healthy plant but cutting at the wrong time of year can cause lasting damage or kill the tree! Registered office: Kempton Way, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6LL. The Woodland Trust and Woodland Trust Nature Detectives logos are registered trademarks. Winter is a great time to prune, but despite common perceptions, winter is not the only time you can prune deciduous fruit trees. Autumn leaf identification quiz: can you identify these 10 trees? While an average fruit tree's pruning cycle is between 3-5 years, it is essential to consider factors like the type, health, and size of your tree. Instead, they’re in their overwintering stage. Wait until Pruning Is Optimal. Fruit trees grow in orchards, groves, gardens and backyards in many areas of the United States. How to prune fruit trees. Images © protected Woodland Trust. The cold, short days have seemed like a good excuse to stay indoors. But when is the right time to prune fruit trees? Summer pruning removes leaves (food manufacturer), slows fruit ripening, and exposes fruit to sunburn. Left to their own devices, fruit trees are self-defeating. It’s better to avoid autumn pruning as this can stimulate new growth at a time when the tree is getting ready to go into dormancy. 1. In our experience the best months are March or April. In general, pruning of apples (Malus species), pears (Pyrus species) and quince (Cydonia oblongata) is best carried out in winter. You should take away 1/3 of your tree through pruning every year. Produced by the Department of Communications at Kansas State University. Don't prune the stone fruits such as plums, almonds or cherries as these are susceptible to silver leaf disease if pruned in winter. By: Anthony Woods Delivery is free. Pruning for Potted Fruit Trees. The best time to prune fruit trees is generally in the spring while trees are dormant. Winter is the best time to cut back stone fruit trees (peaches, cherries, apricots and plums) and pome fruit trees (apples, pears and quince). Most experts agree that the best time to prune fruit trees is in August. The metal blades and teeth on pruners and saws can easily carry disease from tree to tree. So, whether your tree is fully established or newly planted, follow our tips below on how to prune your fruit trees. It depends on the crop that we are talking about and the issue is that it’s hard to say that you need to prune this tree on this date. Registered in England No. Gardeners may have differing opinions about the best way to prune a fruit tree, but our simple three-step process that works for the majority of fruit trees. Wise and careful tending accompany the growth of a healthy end-product. Prune moderately every year to keep the tree in good condition. The best season to prune your fruit tree is in the Winter. Discover our recent challenges and successes and how you can help. The Woodland Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales (No. I know this sounds like a lot, but it would benefit the tree and you by helping the tree concentrate its energy mostly on fruit production instead of on unnecessary growth and of course, will keep the tree healthy. How to prune: Research your tree variety and the best growing shape for fruit trees i.e. Pruning fruit trees needs to happen when the leaves are off and the tree is dormant. Plum and other stone fruit trees are generally pruned in the summer. During the Fall months your fruit tree will be moving nutrients produced via photosynthesis to the roots and will have little energy to support your pruning cuts. Summer pruning can be used, however, to slow down Mulberries also tend to bleed sap from cuts which is minimised in winter. When to prune fruit trees? Spring cleaning. Remember that most deciduous fruit trees develop fruit on new growth therefore seasonal pruning is essential for fruit production. More Info: Prune fruit trees annually during the dormant season, which is in the winter or early spring for most types of fruit trees, especially pome trees such as apple or pear trees. Note: Painting young fruit trees with a white coloured latex paint helps to protect them from borer attacks and sun burning.. 3. Nectarines, peaches, almonds and plums - w e recommend to prune stone fruit trees in late summer after fruiting has finished, however it can be done in early-mid autumn if necessary. This happens to be the best time to cut off the old because it makes room for the new blooms. This, again, means you should prune them back when the trees and berries aren’t producing. As arborist we are asked often when the best time to prune trees is. In this How to Prune Fruit Trees to Keep Them Small tutorial, we will learn specifically about fruit trees. From November to February your tree will be dormant, making pruning much easier! How to Prune Fruit Trees. And my garden really needs it, especially the fruit trees. If you do prune in autumn protect cut wounds with a water based paint or pruning paint to … To promote fruit growth try to make sure all branches are receiving sunlight by pruning upper horizontal branches and removing competing vertical branches. When pruning fruit trees, make sure you prune flush against the branch or trunk at a forty-five-degree angle.Any uneven cuts or abrasions can gather moisture and rot or become infected. Plum trees are a lovely addition to any landscape, but without proper trimming and training, they can become a burden rather than an asset. This keeps them from snapping under the weight of the fruit, but pomologists (fruit scientists) will tell you that it also causes the tree’s hormones to activate growth lower in the canopy, making for smaller, more fruitful trees. If you’re lucky enough to have a mature mulberry tree it won’t need much pruning. 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