Pruning Fruit Trees

by Amy Gordon
(last updated June 8, 2015)

1

Fruit trees are always the most enjoyable when they give good fruit. Without any work or training, you have probably noticed that the best fruit on a fruit tree is at the top of the tree, whereas the fruit on the bottom is not that good. This is because the fruit at the top of the tree receives light, and the fruit of the bottom of the tree is cut off from sufficient light because of the upper branches. The best thing you can do to make the whole tree productive and healthy is to prune it, so all the fruit can receive light and grow healthy and strong.

Pruning on a tree should be done during the winter months for two main reasons. First, you will be able to see the branches easier because there are no leaves to block your view. Second, if you prune before the spring shoots start, you get rid of all the branches where you do not what the tree to invest energy, so it will focus its energy on the good places to grow.

During the first few years of the tree's life, pruning is extremely important to train it to grow right. The first year you are going to want to cut off the top of the main stem (called the maiden wip) all the way back to the first shoot or bud. All lower branches should be cut off and the rest should be pruned about half way so they grow in an outward and upward direction. In the second year you should cut the tree down to three or four main laterals, and these should be pruned back to about a half. The third and fourth year should continue about like this, training the main laterals to grow outward and upward, and trimming any outshoots from these down each year.

After the fourth year the tree is established, and all trimming and pruning should be minor, and should mostly be to remove dead and diseased wood, along with keeping airflow and light flow healthy through the tree. You should have a healthy tree at this time that is giving good fruit.

Remember that pruning is more of an art than a science. As you practice you will get better at doing it, as you learn what works and what does not work. Just enjoy yourself while you do it, since that's what home gardening is about.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

MORE FROM AMY

Cleaning Vinyl Floors

Protecting and mopping vinyl floors doesn't have to be difficult. It doesn't even have to be boring. If you let your ...

Discover More

Removing Barbeque Sauce Stains

Foods with barbecue sauce are often messy and leave stains on your clothing. These sauce stains can be easily removed with ...

Discover More

Removing Stains from Bathtubs

Dyes, hard water minerals, and mildew can build up in bathtubs and create ugly stains. To remove hard water stains, use borax ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

Raising Cherry Trees

While raising cherry trees can prove challenging, the eventual crop of fruit is well worth the trouble. The most important ...

Discover More

Reviving Fruit Trees

Fruit trees are a wonderful addition to just about any garden, when they are flourishing. However, when they are struggling, ...

Discover More

Fruit Trees in the Backyard

When planting fruit trees, make sure to give them plenty of room to grow, since wide root systems may damage your home. Plant ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 1?

2015-06-13 22:53:37

john

my citrus tree has fruit only one branch .the tree is 2 years old will pruning help next seasons crop


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)