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Pruning Seasonal Fruit Trees

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by Fred Roundstone
(Angmering, West Sussex, UK)

Pruning seasonal fruit trees is not only about cutting away the unnecessary branches. Fruit trees to be pruned so that it would be encourage to grow more for the next summer.

The months of February until March are the best period to start pruning trees, however, most tree owners are at lost on where to start pruning.

Aside from encouraging growth, it also helps in controlling or keeping the size of trees.

There are some homeowners who plant trees in the limited space of their backyards or gardens, keeping the tree size controlled is important to make sure that they will not have any problem with the space.

If waste management has the 3Rs, then pruning has the THREE D’S: dead, damaged and diseased part of the tree should be removed to protect the rest of the tree.

It Is important to understand that different trees would require different pruning techniques.

Apples
When pruning apples, remove the suckers, broken branches, branches that are growing downwards and those interior branches growing upward. Also remove those branches that criss-crossing and those in whorls or coils.

There are different techniques for pruning young apples trees. It could be in central leader which leaves the apple tree in a pyramid shape or an open center which forms a vase-shaped tree with no central leader.

You could even let your apple grow against walls or fences called the cordon.

• Peaches.
Peach trees when not pruned are very vulnerable to overproduction, weak trees, diseases and shorter life. When pruning peach trees, be sure to remove 40 percent of the tree each winter.

They may look like shaved, by peach buds blossom on wood which is a year old, new wood and branches should be encouraged to form.

• Pears. 
Heavy pruning or pear trees are not encouraged since it could cause fire blight, which makes the leaves and the branches appeared to have been burned by fire.

If you pruning pear tree varieties which are easily susceptible to fire blight, it is best to dip your pruning shears in bleach first before movingon to another limb and tree.

• Grapes. 
When pruning grapes, most would remove about 90% of last year’s growth. This is okay since removing this much would keep the vine productive.

However if it is your grape vine’s first year, it is better not to prune and let it grow first. After a year, choose the strongest stem and live that to serve as the trunk for the vine.

These are just some of the pruning techniques among the most popular fruit trees.

However, if you have a different fruit tree variety and you are not sure how to prune it, consult a professional or read some books about pruning. The internet is also a great source of information.

Updated: September 20, 2013 — 4:04 pm

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