Pruning Fruit Trees

Written by Amy Gordon (last updated April 26, 2021)


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! ...


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What is 1 + 1?

2015-06-13 22:53:37


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


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