Carrington Research Extension Center


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It’s Time to Prune Your Fruit Trees!


Pruning opens up a tree so that more light and air gets around all of the fruit and leaves. You can also manage the height and shape of the tree.  Pruning is best done while the tree is dormant – before buds swell.

Here’s what pruning helps:Ladder in Tree 2

  • Reduces the chance of fungal problems by allowing more air to move in the leaves.
  • If you need to spray your tree, it will be easier to get the product applied.
  • It will reduce the tree’s crop load, making the tree more likely to bear fruit every year.
  • The fruit will be bigger and ripen faster.
  • When fruit is picked earlier, the tree has more time to prepare for the coming winter.

Use a sharp, quality hand pruner, lopper or pruning saw. Disinfect them between trees or between diseased areas of a tree. Remove branches that point downward, inward, straight up (water sprouts) cross over/through the tree, or will shade the branch below. Clean out small twigs near the center of the tree.  Keep branches that are growing outward and upward and look healthy.  Just start in one place, removing the obvious stuff, and go from there. Don’t be afraid- you can always fix mistakes next year! 


General Pruning and care:

Disinfecting your tools:


Kathy Wiederholt
Fruit Project Manager

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