Spring Gardening: Pruning Fruit Trees

Views: 21297 | Last Update: 2009-05-01
Trimming and pruning fruit trees during spring gardening stimulates the tree and opens up space in the middle to grow. Farm and care for plants correctly and safely with these spring gardening preparation tips from an experienced farmer in this free... View Video Transcript

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Danny Botkin

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So we are going to talk about pruning a fruit tree right now and it's a little late, we should have gotten to this earlier, but at this point I'd rather get the pruning it then miss out on a year. Essentially when you prune a fruit tree, you are going to take off quite a bit of material. You need to stimulate the tree and open up space in the middle. The theory is that the more light and air that reaches the center top crown of the tree the better quality fruit that you will get. So if the tree is crowded with suckers and little sticks that run up through the middle you are going to have a difficult time. So what I'm doing is making, I'm finding excuses to cut out center wood. Especially any wood that criss crosses or closes up the center. I want as much light to reach the center of the tree as possible. Of course if there are any damaged or poorly pruned nubs or broken or diseased wood, those would also come off right away. And I'm finding excuses to take extra because I know the tree will really benefit from it. And this tree has already been pruned once so it's not as in need as some of the others. We can see some nice open space developing in here and I might continue to open up the center, encouraging what they call an espalier, a umbrella shape which opens the center of the tree to receive the light which encourages the fruit set. So here is a tree that's in transition to being properly pruned. And over here you can see a little pear tree that has been well pruned and is in position with these strong lateral branches and an open center, this is in position to really enjoy it's first good harvest this year. And we can just hope for the best.