Baby Step 41: Easy Fruit Tree Pruning

The sunny, hot days of the past summer have added lots of new growth to our fruit trees.  I prune our apple trees every year in early November. This allows me to use the freshly cut trimmings in my smoker throughout the winter. Both apple and cherry trees can be pruned either in winter or in early spring.

Time to prune.

Pruning fruit trees allows greater sun penetration in the summer; growing larger more abundant fruit.  Pruning also keeps trees healthy by removing dead or broken branches. It’s also an effective method for managing the size of your trees from getting to large.


Apple  Trees  

Prune in winter or early spring

Prune moderately and train for a low, reachable crown. Keep tree open with main branches well spaced for fruit and leaf growth. When trimming branches prevent leaving sharp V-shaped crotches which may split from ice/snow weight and high winds.

 Cherry Trees 

 Prune in winter or early spring                                     

Prune moderately trimming back the most vigorous shoots.

Peach Trees 

 Prune in early Spring                                             

Prune tree vigorously keeping well thinned with a low reachable head. Remove one half of previous year’s growth.

Plum Tree 

Prune in early Spring                                                                                                                                                                                            

Prune moderately removing dead and diseased branches while keeping an upward tree shape.

Quince Tree   

Prune in early Spring                                

Cut back young trees to form an open, low head. Minimal pruning is necessary for older trees removing only dead growth.

Recycling Pruning Trimmings

  • Breakdown trimmings by dividing larger branches from small branches. Remove twigs and leaves from wood.
  • Using wood saw or chainsaw cut tree trim into manageable size pieces.
  • Use fruit wood for BBQ’s, grilling and smoking.
  • Spread twigs and leaves around trees and shrubs which will quickly break down into moisture retaining mulch.
  • Tie larger branches together into trellis structures and plant supports.
  • Air-dry larger branches and cut into firewood to burn in fireplaces and outdoor fire pits for cooking and entertaining.

Increase your harvest by taking a baby step – learn how to prune your fruit trees.


One comment

  1. Nov 23 2016

    I think you should have the school children root the trimmings plant the tiny tree and create an orchard to fund their schools and a child’s orchard in pots or their yard for their college fund et all also fund raisers for your churches

    Happy holidays

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