Almond trees add an element of beauty to a landscape with their sprawling shape and pink and white blossoms, along with shade, and the bonus of delicious healthy almond nuts. It is necessary to prune these trees in order to encourage new growth, nut production and to maintain their shape. There are key things to remember, though, to prune almond trees properly.
Prune your almond tree once a year in the late winter or very early spring, before it starts blooming.
With pruning shears, snip off any dead, broken or diseased branches, using a ladder to reach higher up branches if necessary. Remove branches that are growing straight up or downward, and also if the branches are crossing each other. Trimming the center branches will help sunlight get to the center of the tree.
Don't cut the branches too close to the bark of the tree, and leave a little stub. Prune them right before the wrinkled part of the bark. This will ensure quick growth and proper healing.
Shape the tree next with the pruning shears (for branches less than three inches thick), loppers for larger branches and pruning scissors for twiggy branches or shooters. Trim off about half the branch, which will encourage growth. Cut at the bud of the branch on the tree. Trim it into a shape for upward growth.