NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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Spring Tree Pruning Basics

Spring Tree Pruning BasicsThe spring weather may have some of you enjoying getting the chance to be outdoors on these beautiful spring days.  Now is the best time to prune fruit trees, trees and some shrubs.  Currently the trees are still dormant and will suffer less shock from pruning and there will be lower chances of spreading diseases now before the leaves appear.     

The main goal with pruning trees is to get more sunlight through the tree which will help the whole tree grow vigorously and reduce chances of disease infections.  When pruning our trees we want to keep it as simple as possible by following a few basics.

First we want to remove any suckers coming from the base of the tree.  Next we want to remove any wounded branches or branches that are rubbing against each other.  These branches will have greater chances of disease infections that could spread to the whole tree.  As we keep pruning we want to look for branches to remove that are growing towards the center of the tree.  These branches will create more shade and we want the branches to grow outward from the trunk.  Remove our extreme horizontal or vertical branches.  The vertical branches may have a hard time carrying a heavy fruit load. 

Now is the time to rejuvenate our trees by doing some pruning, but make sure not to prune more than 25% of the trees branches in one year.  Try to keep the sturdiest branches, which will have a 60 degree angle from the trunk and have glossy bark.  It may take several years to get the tree into better shape.  Don’t wait too long to prune your trees, because if you wait until the trees or shrubs are budding it could damage spring flowering shrubs and trees.  If you have questions about pruning or for more information contact the NDSU Extension Office.      

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/pruning-shears-autumn-garden-535350/ (downloaded 3/24/21)

 

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