Fruit trees are the pride of any thriving landscape. When healthy, they’re capable of adding timeless appeal to your outdoor space—but that’s only possible if they’re properly pruned each year. While some may not think of this as a necessary step if the tree appears to be in good shape, the truth is that all trees benefit from a little trim to improve their shape and stimulate them to produce abundant fruit. Fortunately, it’s easy to maintain this attractive greenery by gathering your gardening supplies and following these suggestions.
A Guide to Fruit Tree Pruning
1. Cut the Damage First
It’s crucial to start with a healthy tree, so begin by pruning away those obvious areas that aren’t doing the greenery any favors—namely any wood that is decaying or diseased. If you spot small sprouts known as “suckers” straggling at the trunk’s base, eliminate these so that they don’t hinder the tree’s ability to produce fruit. Check the branches, too, for signs of smaller limbs attached to larger ones. It’s fine to prune the small nubs and leave only the larger growths behind.
2. Open Up the Tree
Once all of the problematic parts are removed, you will need to focus on thinning the fruit tree. This allows sufficient oxygen and sunlight to contact the tree, leading to more abundant fruit growth. Both also help maintain the tree’s long-term health and reduce the incidence of pest infestations and subsequent diseases. Begin by pruning any branches that face downward or that intersect other branches. What’s left should be open branches that allow plenty of light and air to flow through.
3. Head the Tree Back
Fruit is heavy and can weigh branches down. That’s why you want to prune long branches with heading cuts to prevent them from drooping under the weight of new growth. At this stage, you want to cut them short so that when they do resume growing, they’ll come in thicker and shorter. A more substantial yet small branch supports the fruit better and may even contribute to a more productive tree.
Your fruit trees deserve only the very best. That’s why you should turn to Racine’s Feed Garden & Supply for all of your outdoor needs. Based in Robertsdale, AL, the company carries an extensive selection of gardening supplies and ornamental trees for your yard. You’ll also find livestock feed, pet supplies, and hunting accessories at this full-service center. Visit them online to find out more about their products, or call them at (251) 947-3003 to speak with a friendly member of the team today.