Apples Tree Producing Fruit

Pruning Your Fruit Trees for Peak Performance

Oh My, has it been a crazy winter! The off-again, on-again cold spells might have confused your gardens but don’t let them confuse you! Yes, it’s time to be pruning many of your fruit trees! Especially the ones that went dormant like: Apples, Apricots, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Pomegranates, and so on.

Here are the Top 3 Fruit Tree Pruning Tips for Peak Form and Production this year in your garden!



1. REMOVE LIFE SUCKERS: aka, any branch that is:

a. Damaged beyond one-year’s repair

b. Entwined

c. Rotting

d. Dead

e. “Suckers” (below the graft)

2. DEFINE YOUR FORM: Are you wanting a tall tree? Short and easy to pick? Espaliered?

a. “Open-habit” trees have no central leader and easier to pick

b. Tall trees have their function to screen 2nd stories and provide shade

c. Dwarf Trees need to be pruned using the 4” rule

3. MAXIMIZE PRODUCTION by promoting balanced branching.

a. The cut should be 12 inches away from the branch collar

In the end, trimming now, before the tree leaf’s-out, ensures that all the energy stored up in the roots from last year will grow into your desired form this year. If you wait too long, that energy will be wasted in new growth you will end up trimming it off!

Check Out GreenThumbThursday.com for more about WHAT TO PLANT RIGHT NOW! and our Planting Calendar for the Desert Southwest including all the varieties best suited for here!