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Tips For Pruning Fruit Trees

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Pruning fruit trees can be a necessary part of getting a healthy fruit yield and extending the life of your fruit tree. While pruning fruit trees may seem like a complicated and time-consuming project, with a little education the task doesn’t seem so difficult. Fruit trees need to be pruned every year to ensure a good fruit yield. By following some very basic pruning steps and gaining an understanding of the purposes of pruning fruit trees, almost anyone can achieve the desired results.

There are several reasons that pruning fruit trees is necessary. Fruit trees can be overburdened with fruit during the growing seasons, which can cause branches to snap or bend. Pruning helps your fruit trees grow a strong enough frame that branches will not become overburdened and brittle. Pruning fruit trees can help them grow from a centralized structure, rather than spindly and separate. Pruning fruit trees also helps promote better fruit production.

Another reason for pruning fruit trees is to remove dead or diseased limbs from the tree. Dead or dying limbs can quickly infect the rest of your fruit tree branches and can cause the tree to weaken or die. Another objective for pruning fruit trees is to keep the branches spread out enough that the lower limbs are not completely shaded. Thinning out your branches allows light to reach every portion of the tree, again promoting a healthier and heartier yield of fruit.

Most fruit trees should be pruned in the very late winter, or the dormant season. Pruning done in the summer should be very minimal and done with caution. During summer months, the tree relies on its branches and leaves for most of its energy. Removing too much of the tree can cause the tree to be injured or even die. Pruning during dormant seasons promotes new growth, rather than stunts existing growth.

There are many types of pruning cuts that you can use. The most important thing to remember when pruning is to try and make your cuts so that the tree will heal quickly. Long jagged cuts can be more susceptible to infection or disease.

Cuts can be made for the purposes of thinning, shaping, or heading the tree limbs. Shaping cuts are the most drastic and should be avoided whenever possible. Heading cuts remove old growth or part of a branch, rather than the entire shoot. Thinning cuts serve to thin the trees branches allowing for maximum light exposure and better fruit growth.

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