How to Prune Fruit Trees

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How to Prune Fruit Trees - Provided by eHow
Pruning fruit trees depends on the time of year and type of tree, as each one should be pruned differently at various times of the year. Whether pruning a peach tree or cherry tree, pruning fruit trees should be easier after getting advice from a... View Video Transcript

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Jessica Smith

Video Transcript

Hi I'm Jessica Smith and I work for Blands Nursery in West Jordan, Utah. Today we are talking all about trees and shrubs. Right now we are discussing how to prune a fruit tree. There are different ways to prune a fruit tree. There is your modified central leader. This is where you lead that main leader, the long branch that runs up from the top and then you space your scaffold branches in between that time. Common practices for that is for apple trees, pear trees and even apricots. For an open central pruning practice or a vase this is where you actually take the main leader off and you leave three to four balanced branches around that. That is actually going to let sunlight in and air flow through and that is your most common practice that your fruit tree growers use. That is very common practice with your nectarines and your peaches. Now with cherries they don't like pruning as much as other trees so it is real important that you start when they are younger with thinning out and lightening out the branches and stuff like that. They don't heal as quickly as other types of trees. Now on peaches or nectarines, they actually will fruit off of second year wood and what second year wood is is what grew the year before throughout the season is going to have your fruit on it the following year. Now pruning practices actually encourage a lot more product, a lot more fruit. It actually is going to give you a better quality fruit. It helps with overall health of the plant. A rule of thumb is make sure you always take off your dead or diseased branches or anything that has been damaged, that only encourages pests. Now to tell on your peaches or your nectarines what your second year wood is here this is what grew this year and we'll have our fruit next year. You can see that the second year wood right here is reddish in color. This is what is going to have your fruit next year and even though you are going to kind of prune some of this back because you don't want a really heavy branch on it because peaches and nectarines can tend to weigh down with the fruit, make sure you also thin your fruit, that is number one too for a good quality fruit on all of your fruit. You are going to actually want to take off some of the fruit production each year because in reality how much fruit can you actually eat. That is an easy way to tell on your nectarines and peaches as to where your fruit is going to come next year. Now over here like on apples and pears they actually will fruit off of three to four year old wood and then off of that you'll get your little spurs, short little spurs, these fat little branches at the end. That is going to have your fruit and make sure that you also thin out this fruit because they can become also very heavy and your fruit will actually suffer in its quality if you leave it on there so you'll pick off all of the fruits and leave just one or two on each of those spurs each year and branches that are loaded with too much fruit will actually tend to bend down and they could actually break causing a lot more problems in the long run. You prune, most of your major pruning is done in the late dormant season to early early Spring. Now on Summer pruning, you are going to have to do some Summer pruning. Again if you have any of your dead dying diseased or broken branches you always take care of them immediately and then clean your tools afterwards because if you are dealing with a fungal or bacterial problem those spores can live on your tools themselves. Then real common with apples and pears they get these long shoots that seem to just appear out of anywhere, really quick growing ones. You'll want to remove those also. You can do that in the summer time or any water sprouts at the base or suckers.