All fruit trees require pruning for optimum plant health, growth, and fruit set. Different types of fruit trees require different types of pruning/training. As always, please contact us if you have any questions!
Pruning is the removal of a portion of a tree to correct or maintain tree structure. Training is a relatively new practice in which tree growth is directed into a desired shape and form. Training young fruit trees is essential for proper tree development. It is better to direct tree growth with training than to correct it with pruning.
We strongly recommend pruning in the very early spring, before growth has begun. It is recommend that you start training your new tree once it has been planted.
For apples and pears, here is the recommended pruning method:
1) Your goal is to prune for a strong central leader. To do this, remove the tip, leaving at least 4 buds below it. Do this the first year. Leave at least 32" from the ground to the top of the tree.
2) Starting the second year, in the winter following planting, again trim back the top shoot, but make sure it stays the tallest.
3) Your goal is a pyramid-type shape. Prune to 3 or 4 main branches after you complete step# 2. Select a second set of main branches higher than the first after each subsequent year's growth.
The top of the tree should look like this:
4) Keep pruning the tree in this fashion for best results in home fruit production. Always use sharp, clean tools. Good luck!
Peach, nectarine and plum pruning: