Almond trees are a beautiful addition to every garden or landscape, and produce delicious healthy nuts on top of that. It is best to keep an almond tree trimmed in a vase shape, especially during the first three years of its maturing process.
Trim when you transplant the young almond tree. If the tree is taller than about 40 inches from the ground, cut off any of the taller mass with pruning shears. This promotes new growth, and also encourages the tree's branches to spread up and outward.
Trim when the almond tree is about one year old in the early spring. Use the shears or pruning scissors to get rid of any broken or dead branches, and any shoots or branches that are lower then 2 feet from the ground. Locate the central trunk or branch on the almond tree (also called the leader). It will be the strongest, most dominant branch.
Look at the four strongest branches growing right by the leader next. Cut these branches back to about 6 to 12 inches long. Then, use the shears to remove all other side branches, cutting them back a couple inches from the trunk.
Trim again in the spring when the tree is about two years old. Repeat the procedure that you did during the first year with the leader branch and the branches around it. Cut them back to where they are about 3 feet long. Trim off branches that are dead and broken, and those that are crossing over each other. Trim off any branches that are sticking out awkwardly from the side of the tree, and thin out areas that seem very dense by taking out every other branch.
Prune the almond tree in the spring time when the tree is about three years old, then again when it is four years old. When you trim it during the third and fourth year, remove any branches that are dead or broken, interfere with the vase shape of the almond tree and those that cross over each other.