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Pruning Fruit Trees

We’ve got a new YouTube video for you on Pruning Fruit Trees. There are so many details about pruning specific trees, but before all of that, you need to know the basics. Watch our latest video with guest Jessika Mitchell to learn the proper way to prune a fruit tree. You’ll learn about best practices (like disinfecting your tools before and after pruning), find out what to look for when making pruning cuts, and discover how to know what to remove from a healthy fruit tree.

So don’t forget:

  • Dead, diseased and disorderly
  • Prune in stages – take breaks
  • Clean your tools
  • View your work from all sides
  • Learn more about your specific tree varieties to know what to keep and what to prune.

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Renee siegel

    Hi any tips on Apple espalier pruning ? I never am quite sure what to take off and what will come back

    1. Christy

      I hear you, Renee. Apples need new wood to keep producing, so it’s a good idea to keep making small pruning cuts on vertical stems to trigger new growth along the horizontal branches both above and below. Don’t remove fruiting spurs unless you see (during the productive season) that they are no longer producing fruit. We recently did a video on how to trigger new fruiting spurs and growth on YouTube. That might help you with the “new growth” part.

  2. Jeff Bremer

    Thanks Christy, much appreciated.

  3. Jeff Bremer

    Hi Christy (again),

    I was told to prune any new branches that were growing in or down. Was that misinformation?

    Thx, Jeff

    1. Christy

      No, not at all. You definitely want to prune away any crossing branches (that would be branches growing in), and branches growing down is part of what I mentioned earlier about choosing to prune away up- or down-growing branches. I usually select a few of each to open the space up and allow for air circulation.

  4. Jeff Bremer

    Hi Christy,

    I have a lemon tree that has ripe fruit and new blossoms year round. When is a good time to prune it?

    Thx, Jeff

    1. Christy

      The rule of thumb with citrus is to prune after fruit is ripe but before it starts flowering again. It’s hard to tell because ripe citrus lives on the tree for a long time. There is sometimes some overlap. Generally speaking, though, if you need to prune any time, citrus is forgiving. Trim off those water sprouts and runners, and cut away all dead branches. Then open up the canopy a little by pruning away some vertical branches (either up- or down-growing stems). That should do the trick.

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