Pruning fruit trees

Pruning is certainly the most important task in the fruit garden or orchard. Pruning directs the growth of trees and improves quality of the crop. It is wrong to think that pruning increases amount of fruit. Quite the contrary. Due to pruning trees start to flower when they are older and yield is lower.

If the tree is left to itself, it would in a few years develop a large and dense crown. Its characteristic would be thin branches, which could not hold heavy fruits. Because of very dense foliage, various diseases would spread fast. There would be a lot of fruits, but they would be small and many of them would be damaged.

With proper pruning of crown development of strong main branches is achieved, which are able to bear the weight of the fruit. Pruning prevents growth into height and allows development of fruit-bearing branches low to the ground. Pruning allows crown to be light, which provides sunlight access to individual fruits. Therefore they develop better and ripe more beautiful. Rainwater drains faster and leaves dry faster. This reduces occurrence of diseases. Regularly pruned fruit trees are healthier, fruits are bigger and of better taste.

Pruning is a very demanding task in which ignorance makes more harm than good. With pruning you can not make miracles. If you planted high-growing variety, you will not be able to keep it low with pruning without reducing its fertility and shortening lifespan. The same applies if the trees are planted too thick as they will grow upwards towards the light. Pruning the wrong way also stimulates the production of green shoots that do not bear fruits.

Before you start pruning in the spring, it makes sense to learn how to properly prune fruit trees. Knowledge can be acquired in many books and on practical demonstrations in local orchards and tree nurseries. In any case, the most important are own practical experiences. If you are not successful in pruning, it makes sense to hire an expert.