How To Prune Fruit Trees | Why do we prune fruit trees?

Today we will discuss about How To Prune Fruit Trees in a short blog . Pruning a fruit tree is one of the most difficult things for new gardeners to do because it just seems so difficult to chop up our precious babies like that but I’m here to tell you that proper pruning does not harm a tree. It reinvigorates the plant and it can lead to a healthy more productive tree in the long run.

Why do we prune fruit trees?

we prune fruit trees to keep the tree as small as possible while increasing fruit production and to understand that you need to understand that it is the purpose of every species to reproduce and perpetuate that species and fruit trees are no different.

if you leave a fruit tree completely unpruned and let it grow the way it’s going to want to grow naturally it’s going to produce enough fruit that it feels comfortable that it reproduced adequately for the season but it’s going to put most of its energy into Vigor.How To Prune Fruit Trees | Why do we prune fruit trees

So if you never prune your fruit trees you’re going to wind up with the largest most jumbled mass of a tree possible with mediocre production With proper pruning you will keep the tree form smaller which is ideal for backyard gardeners and actually dramatically increase the production. So you’ll get more fruit on a smaller tree.

When do we prune fruit trees

well, that depends on the type of fruit tree that you’re growing. Deciduous fruit trees are those trees that lose all of their leaves and go dormant in the winter time like apples figs peaches plums pears and persimmon.

well you want to prune them when they’re at Peak dormy and that is going to be during the winter time and when you prune these fruit trees when they’re in a dormant leafless State like this. It is low-stress for the fruit trees so they recover very quickly

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Evergreen fruit trees like avocados, Citrus, mangoes, and other tropical and subtropical fruit trees that do not lose their leaves. since they don’t go through a period of dormancy the best time to prune them generally speaking is right after you harvest the fruit off of them.

Now obviously you don’t want to prune your fruit trees when they’re loaded up with fruit that isn’t mature because if you prune off that wood then you will have a whole bunch of fruit that isn’t ripe and worthless to you. you also don’t want to prune them too late after harvest because it’s the new wood that will form for the new season that is going to flower and fruit for you the next season.

So if you wait too long after harvest the tree will not have enough time to grow new budwood to flour and fruit for the new season. you may skip a year with no fruit. so the safest time to prune is right after you harvest all of the fruit off that way you’re able to pick all of the fruit that is mature and the tree has the maximum amount of time to grow new bud wood for the new season to flour and fruit.

how much to prune a tree every year

Well for the overwhelming majority of fruit trees like this persimmon tree, the general rule of thumb is something like a quarter to a third of the overall volume of the tree. That will give it good enough airflow and better light penetration without creating so much stress on the tree from chopping it back too much.

That it can easily recover and fruit in the same seasons. now there are some exceptions to this rule if you have a long enough growing season things like figs, can be cut down significantly more than halfway because they generate so much new fruit and wood that the more you cut them back the more new wood they grow.

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the new wood is what makes new fruit but again generally speaking if you don’t know have the quarter to a third of the overall size rule in your head.

what tools do you need to prune fruit trees

well generally speaking you want two different tools as mentioned below

  • a pair of bypass pruning shears
  • a small Hand saw

You want to use the bypass pruning shears for wood that is less than 1/2 in diameter and for anything larger you’ll want a small fine handsaw.

Different types of pruning Cuts

There are three pruning cuts that you can make to your tree

Thinning Cuts

Thinning Cuts will remove an entire Branch from the tree the reason why we perform thinning Cuts is to increase airflow increase light penetration to the internal canopy of the tree and also to remove any dead branches or branches that are growing crisscross inside the tree itself.

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Heading cuts

Heading cuts are used to shape the tree and encourage new growth and flowering at strategic places heading cuts reinvigorate the tree and they greatly increase the amount of young vibrant fruiting, wood creating more Buds and Flowers for enhanced fruit.

set the way fruit trees grow is this all of the growth hormones collect the terminal Bud which is the tip that is all the way out in the front here so left p to its own devices. This branch is going to keep growing and growing and eventually, it will produce flowers on this new wood more than likely at the end of that terminal bud

Bench Cuts

Bench cuts or drop crotching is a method of reducing the size of a fruit tree overall by cutting back a main branch or a central leader to one of the lateral branches and then they will take over and become the new dominant leaders.

so for example here you can see the main Central leaders of this Persimmon tree that are growing up way tall much taller than I want now as I mentioned before the growth hormone is going up that central leader and collecting in the terminal Bud because that’s how trees want to grow .they want to grow up and out so because this dominant central leader is taking all of the energy away from the lower parts of the tree.

these branches over here are not going to be able to grow as much if I were to cut all of this down which would then reestablish a lower point on the tree. we could create a new crotch here and if I cut all of this wood away then these smaller branches would now become the dominant Central leaders because they’d be the highest up points on the tree.How to Grow Banana Trees from Banana

so by cutting this down I would reestablish a new growth point and establish a new central leader Now that I’ve explained to you all of the principles behind pruning.

Pruning Demonstration: Thinning cut

I will show you an actual demonstration looking at this tree right here it can be overwhelming just to figure out where to begin and it is easiest to start with the thinning Cuts because the thinning cuts are going to remove entire branches and greatly open up the tree and then once you remove those branches you can kind of figure out a methodology from there and we’re going to start by removing any growth that is growing crisp cross within the canopy of the tree and also removing the dead branches because all of that stuff is very easy to find.

How To Prune Fruit Trees For SMALL Size And MAXIMUM Production 8 43 screenshot
Thinning cut pic
How To Prune Fruit Trees For SMALL Size And MAXIMUM Production 8 45 screenshot
Thinning cut

so for example all of this wispy stuff that’s just growing in the middle of the tree we want to keep the tree as an open canopy that has lots of air flow. so we don’t want all this stuff growing in diagonal patterns across the tree same thing with up here all of this stuff hanging down it basically does us no good.How to grow Blueberries Plants from Bought Blueberries

it’s growing into the tree we never want to see any wood that is growing into the canopy so right here it’s growing into the canopy let’s remove that again we want to keep the canopy nice and open for good airflow and light penetration.

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How To Prune Fruit Trees For SMALL Size And MAXIMUM Production 9 5 screenshot
Thinning cut pic
How To Prune Fruit Trees For SMALL Size And MAXIMUM Production 9 18 screenshot 1
Thinning cut pic

So once we remove all those small wispy branches it gives us better visibility inside the tree. I’ve now completed all of the thinning Cuts I’ve removed all of the Deadwood I have all of the crisscrossing branches that are growing into the center removed and I have a much more wide open canopy for better airflow.

If you want to read more about the Types of Pruning Cuts, Demonstrated & Explained