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Pruning fruit trees are a must for anyone who loves to grow fruit in their backyard. Fruit trees can be a great addition to any garden. Eating food that has been produced from your own home can be a very satisfying experience. By giving good tree care and maintenance, you can have the best of both worlds with attractively looking trees that produce tasty fruit which are easy to harvest. The following blog provides tips and links to help you get the best out of pruning fruit trees.
When is the best time to start pruning Fruit trees?
Pruning fruit trees or any other type of tree can open up wounds, breaching the barrier the tree has to the outside world. Knowing when to prune fruit trees can allow you to work with your tree’s natural defences, helping them to defend themselves against any attacks from pests and diseases. It is best to avoid pruning fruit trees when the tree is producing leaves, flowers, or fruit as this requires a lot of energy from the tree. It is also good to avoid times when fungi are most active such as autumn.
Factors to look at when pruning Fruit Trees
Good times to prune can be mid to late summer and mid to late winter. Depending on the fruit you are growing it may be necessary to prune every year or to leave longer gaps in between pruning cycles. Some species produce their fruit on new growth whereas others produce fruit on growth that is older. Accurate identification of your tree will enable an experienced arborist to provide the right tree maintenance required.
Consider why you are pruning your Fruit Trees
To determine how you prune it can be a good idea to know why you are pruning. One of the main reasons might be so that you can actually reach the fruit. Your fruit tree might be producing the most wonderful fruit you can imagine but it is not much use if it all falls to the floor and gets bruised. By maintaining your tree at a manageable size you will be able to pick the fruit before this happens.
Another reason for pruning fruit trees can be to clear out any dead, damaged, or diseased branches. This will help to keep your tree healthy and prevent the spread of disease. Another way that this can be achieved is by ensuring sunlight and wind can easily enter the canopy of the tree. This allows the leaves to dry quickly after rain making it more difficult for fungi and others pathogens to grow. Depending on the setting of your garden it might be more aesthetically pleasing to have your fruit trees a certain shape.
A skilled arborist will be able to prune your trees to achieve all of these goals leaving you with specimens that produce good fruit that look great.
High Quality Equipment is crucial when pruning fruit trees
Having good quality, sharp tools will help minimise the damage to your trees when pruning. Accurate placement of cuts is also important in achieving the best results. When pruning it is good to follow the rule of as much as necessary but as little as possible. If you have more than one fruit tree in your garden it is also a good idea to clean your tools between pruning each tree. This will help to reduce the chance of spreading any diseases from one tree to the next.
Contact a Tree Consultant for Pruning advice!
If you have fruit trees that have become overgrown or you are thinking of establishing a new one, a tree consultant can advise on the best course of action to take. A tree specialist will be able to bring an unruly orchard back in line or plan the best way to go about creating a new food forest in your garden.
Further information about caring for fruit trees can be found at the following links:
- 10 Basics of When and How to Prune Fruit Trees
- Fruit Tree Pruning Guide
- Pruning, Espaliering and spraying Fruit Trees