How to Score Fruit Trees


Scoring is the process of making a single, sharp cut completely around the trunk of a fruit tree to control the growth of the tree. Scoring, according to the University of Massachusetts, cuts off the flow of nutrients, photosynthates, and growth regulators between the tree canopy and the roots of the tree. Controlling growth is recommended in areas that do not have sufficient space to grow large trees and to control root growth.

Step 1

Select a tree that has vigerous growth. Do not score weak trees as scoring may damage the tree and kill it off.

Step 2

Run the knife all the way around the trunk, cutting through the bark making a circle around the tree. Choose an area somewhere between the soil and the lowest scaffolding branch of the tree. Do not remove bark form the tree as this exposes it to disease.

Step 3

Monitor the tree, caring for it as you normally would, to ensure that growth has been inhibited by the scoring cut.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp linoleum knife


  • University of Massachusetts Extension: Controlling Growth of Apple Trees
  • The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service: Fruit and Nuts Planting Fruit Trees
  • University of California: Fruit Trees: Planting and Care of Young Trees
Keywords: fruit tree care, scoring fruit trees, controlling tree growth

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.