Fruit trees make great additions to your landscaping, and not only are they visually appealing, but they have the added benefit of fruit production. However, in order for fruit trees to adequately produce fruit, they need to be pruned consistently. There are three simple steps to prune a fruit tree:
1. Remove Any Damaged Branches
Damaged branches include any branches that are diseased or dead. Leaving these branches on your fruit tree will only stunt fruit production and damage the tree. If there are diseased branches, it’s essential that you properly remove them to ensure the tree’s health, as well as the trees and plants around it.
2. Trim the Outermost Growth
Pruning the outermost growth, also called heading back, consists of cutting the tip off the branches. Doing this keeps the branches of the fruit tree thick and healthy, which is important because thin branches could break off from the weight of the fruits.
Pruning the outermost growth involves removing five centimeters to a meter of the tip of the tree branch, depending on the tree and the amount of growth it’s had in the past year. If you’re unsure of how much growth to trim, it would be best to contact an arborist for information on your tree and its growth.
3. Thin Out the Canopy
Thinning out the canopy is crucial to fruit production. Not only does thinning out the canopy allow extra light and air to reach the tree, but it also boosts fruit production and encourages more healthy growth for the tree.
To thin out the canopy, first look for branches that are growing differently than the others and don’t seem to fit in. Any odd branches that are growing toward the tree rather than away, downwards, or even into each other should be removed first. After thinning those, take a look at the tree to make sure there aren’t any odd gaps or unevenness.
A fruit tree with great quantities of fruit production takes some work. Fruit trees won’t produce quality fruit without the correct care. However, with the proper pruning knowledge, your fruit trees will be thriving. Removing any and all damaged, diseased or broken tree branches, trimming the outermost growth, and thinning out the canopy are three very simple steps to prune your fruit trees in order to keep them healthy, happy and ensuring you get the most fruit production.