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Expert-Speak on Pruning Fruit Trees Better to Maximize Yield Each Year

There is a natural connection between humans and fruit-bearing trees. At some point, Man realized that pruning fruit trees regularly was one surefire way to ensure fresh supplies throughout the year!

Today, the United States is one of the largest producers of fruits, coming in after India, China, and Brazil. If you enjoy gardening and maintaining a range of trees (both fruiting and otherwise) in your yard, you are most probably quite aware of the many benefits of trimming fruit trees.

But if you are just starting out, here are some tips you must follow to ensure your private Garden of Eden doesn’t resemble a dump yard!

Is regular fruit tree pruning essential?

Yes, you need to take extra care of these species.

You have to religiously prune fruit trees every year for several reasons. The 3 most vital reasons are:

  1. Pruning and trimming fruit-bearing trees is essential to increase the yield of all ‘pome’ and ‘stone’ produce which dominate the US market. The ‘pome’ range includes apples and pears while ‘stone’ varieties include everything from cherries to apricots to nectarines.
  2. The quality of the fruit improves vastly even without using too much fertilizer.
  3. Scientific fruit-bearing tree trimming will also help most species withstand pest attacks.

Across the United States, fruit-bearing trees are often afflicted by plum and dogwood borers plus the Oriental moth. These can be kept at bay if you hire a reputable tree trimming service.

A 3-step method to make trimming of fruit trees simpler! 

This section details a simple and easy-to-follow 3-step method to make fruit tree pruning a piece of cake!

Step 1: Cleaning up the surface thoroughly 

  • Begin with the popular (and effective) “3D process.” Do you see any branches or parts of the stem which appear dead, damaged or diseased?

If you do, these are the areas where you must start shearing first. Always purchase high-grade, stainless-steel trimming tools for the best results.

  • Are any sort of sprouts or patches of uneven growth on the trunk or the branches which are at the top? In technical terms, these sprouts are called ‘suckers’ or ‘water-sprouts.’ To ensure proper pruning of fruit trees, these outgrowths have to be cleaned up first.
  • Whenever you are removing longer branches, ensure it is sliced off cleanly. Short, stubby branch ends should be removed so that the canopy on top doesn’t get too heavy.

Step 2: Clearing and thinning out the branches

  • Remember that the principal objective of trimming fruit trees is to ensure every part of the plant receives adequate levels of sunlight and uninterrupted airflow. Never cut branches that are starting to bear fruits- even if they look damaged.
  • Slice off all branches that are starting to grow downwards and those that are entangled with fruit-bearing shoots.
  • One expert tip to better prune fruit trees is to ensure there’s a space of between 6 to 12-inches between the biggest and sturdiest branches.
  • Try and maintain an even canopy of leaves and branches at all times. This is known as ‘fractal’ trimming.

This is a simple idea. Take a break, climb down so that you can see the tree from a distance, and figure out if your DIY effort to prune fruit trees is balanced across all sides!

Identify the areas that require further trimming.

Step 3: The big haircut!  

Almost there!

This is the final step. You require your best gloves, the sharpest trimmers, slashers, hacksaws, hand-trowels, and a rake.

For a complete and effective trimming of fruit-bearing trees, follow these pointers:

  • Prune the longest branches that are at odd angles with the trunk. This signals the plant’s in-built hormone centers to accelerate the growth of fruits at lower points. This will make them easily accessible!
  • Pruning fruit trees depends a lot on whether the species produces ‘pome’ or ‘stone’ varieties. You require a few essential ideas from expert trimmers and even pomologists- scientists who study fruit trees.

Pomologists can help if you are planting non-native, Oriental, or exotic species.

Else, if you reside in Florida, it’s best to consult an experienced Pasco County tree trimming firm!

  • Chop off 20-30% of all the foliage to reduce deadweight. This might sound a bit extreme but it’s an old trick in fruit tree pruning communities.

2 bonus tips! 

  1. Before you start pruning a large tree, confirm that you’ve got the right safety gear. From gloves to clear plastic glasses to harnesses and so on.
  2. Planning fruit tree pruning sessions on different plants? To avoid accidental contamination, disinfect your pruning and shearing blades with any common liquid microbicide!