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How to Prune Your Fruit Trees

15 NOV 2023

How to Prune Your Fruit Trees

Having a backyard orchard can be a rewarding experience, but it comes with the responsibility of proper care, which includes regular pruning. Pruning fruit trees is essential for promoting healthy growth, increased fruit production, and the overall longevity of your trees. At the Sesmas Tree Service, we leverage extensive expertise and proven strategies to ensure your trees thrive. Here are essential techniques for pruning fruit trees to help you maintain a thriving orchard.

Winter Pruning

Winter pruning is done during the dormant season, ideally in late winter or early spring, before fresh growth begins. This technique focuses on shaping the tree’s structure and removing dead, damaged, or diseased branches. The primary goal is to create an open canopy that allows sunlight to penetrate and air to circulate effectively. Remove any crossing branches, water sprouts, and any limbs that grow downward or inward first.

When pruning, make clean cuts just above a bud or lateral branch, angling away from the bud to encourage outward growth. Proper winter pruning sets the foundation for the tree’s future growth and fruit production. If you prefer a more hands-off approach, hire a tree service provider to help. The last thing you want is to cause severe damage with DIY techniques, resulting in death and costly tree removal emergencies.

Summer Pruning

Summer pruning is a crucial technique to control the size of your fruit tree and manage fruit production. This practice is performed after the tree has finished flowering and the fruits develop. Summer pruning involves the selective removal of excess branches and foliage to thin out the canopy. This helps increase air circulation, reduce the risk of disease, and improves the quality of the remaining fruit.

During summer pruning, our arborists focus on removing crowded or overlapping branches, as well as any small or malformed fruits. It is vital to only remove one-third of the tree’s total foliage during a single summer pruning session. Regular summer pruning can also help prevent the overproduction of small, low-quality fruits. If you notice flowers sprouting, consult a professional tree care company for help.

Renewal Pruning

Renewal pruning is essential for older fruit trees that may have become less productive or developed a dense, tangled canopy. This technique involves aggressive pruning to rejuvenate the tree and encourage new growth. Our tree service experts remove a few of the oldest and least productive branches, known as “crown thinning.” This stimulates fresh growth from the remaining branches and improves light penetration. Over a few years, you can gradually replace the older branches with younger, more vigorous shoots. While renewal pruning can breathe new life into older trees and extend their productive years, improper execution can cause severe damage and premature tree removal projects.

Pruning your fruit trees is an essential aspect of orchard care that plays a significant role in their health and productivity. Whether you’re shaping the tree’s structure, thinning fruit, rejuvenating older trees, or creating an espaliered masterpiece, it is advisable to work with a tree care company to ensure the proper pruning techniques and enhance fruit production for years. Contact us at the Sesmas Tree Service and schedule a consultation with our certified arborists. We provide various services, including planting, pruning, and tree removal, at competitive rates.