Pomegranate trees provide their jewel-red fruit in the winter. To avoid damaging the fruit crop, prune pomegranates in the late winter, once you have harvested the fruit. Trim pomegranate trees annually to keep them healthy, and train young trees to an open-center shape to maximize air circulation and sunlight in the tree canopy.
Check your pomegranate tree for dead, diseased or damaged branches throughout the year. Dead branched have little weight. Diseased and damaged branches will be discolored or otherwise marred.
Prepare a bleach and water solution in a bucket, using 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Dip your pruning tools in this solution before trimming.
Cut dead, damaged and diseased wood off your tree by cutting it off at the base or trimming it back to a crotch intersection. Remove all poor wood in this manner. Dispose of all damaged wood and discard the bleach solution.
Remove trunk suckers and root suckers, which grow from the ground or from the trunk of the tree in the summer. This growth won't produce fruit. Cut it back to the base, but don't cut into the tree trunk.
Develop scaffold limbs by choosing four to five strong limbs that grow outward and up. Pick limbs that are spread out along the trunk for symmetry. Cut away all competing limbs using your lopping shears.
Open up the canopy by trimming off branches that grow vertically straight and branches that cross other branches. This growth competes with the scaffold limb and shades lower branches. Trim off most shoots that grow from your scaffold limbs, leaving only three to five shoots per limb. At this point your pomegranate tree displays predominantly outward and upward growth.