How to Prune a Fruit Tree


Why Prune Trees?

Fruit treesrequire pruning every year. The tree crown needs cut to make as less shadowed branches as possible. That means to shorten branches to create tree crown for effective fruiting. Fruit develop only on the sun lighted branches.

Besides shaping pruning, there is also sanitary pruning, which is performed annually during, to remove damaged, died and sick branches.

Pruning Time for Fruit Trees


Pruning is performed in winter or early spring before buds begin to swell.

How to select a Tree with Strong Root System?

Fruit treesare acquired fromnurseries, aged 1-2 years. One-year-old trees show the best acclimation rate.Nurseriessellfruit treeswith the open root system in pots. If a fruit tree is with the open root system, it means it is in a sleeping regime that is why there should be leaves on it. When you buyfruit treesfromnurseries, you should examine their root systems carefully, as well as the trunk and branches, eliminating the possibility of damages and diseases. Roots must be strong, with many tiny fibrous rootlets. Root shoots are not allowed.

What Crown Do You Need for Growing a Fruit Tree?

Prune a Fruit TreePruning of two-year-old trees depends on what kind of crown you have selected for the further fruit tree growth. There are different kinds offruit treescrowns:

  • rounded thinned out, tiered shape;
  • leaderless crown shape or flat-spherical;
  • semi-flat.

Minimal shadiness of the branches occurs with a semi-flat tree crown. However, creation of such a crown requires deep knowledge of each tree type’s biology in addition to great working hours. Besides, it is very complicated when it comes to care.

It is recommended to form a rounded thinned out, tiered shape for a fruit tree, as these kinds of crowns are easier in pruning and care. Moreover, the quality of the fruit may be better.

Forming a Rounded Thinned out, Tiered Shape

How to Prune Fruit Tree of the 1st Year

After you have planted a fruit tree, the first thing you need to do is to prune it. First pruningdiffers from the second pruning and so on.

How to Prune a Fruit Tree

How to do First Pruning

Usually the trunk of a fruit tree does not have branches. The central rod prevails. That is why the central rod (bearer) is shortened so that the trunk’s height ranges 2-3.5 feet.


How to do Second PruningWhen branches grow out after first pruning, next year shaping pruning is performed. Five strongest branches are selected for the base, the rest are pruned. The middle branch gets half-shortened, and the rest side branches are 2/3 shortened so that an oval tree shape is created. The tallest branch as a bearer will predominate side branches. Besides, all the branches growing towards the bearer and thickening young crown should be pruned. In addition, branches growing upright need to be pruned. Therefore, the first tier of the crown is formed. Heavy pruning stimulates active branches growth.

How to Prune a 3rd Year Fruit Tree

Next year branches of the first tier are pruned to achieve subordination of side branches to the bearer. Only now, every branch of the first tier is considered a bearer in relation to the branches grown on it. The branches grown inside the crown are pruned, leaving those that convey the crown a cup look. New branches are called branches of the second tier. They are also heavily pruned, leaving those ones located on the first-tier branch at the distance not less than 1-1.5 feet from one another. These branches will be fruit bearing. In addition, all the branches growing towards the center of the tree and upright are pruned yearly.

How to Prune a 4th Year Fruit Tree


How to Perform PruningNext year all the branches of the first and second tiers are shortened again, keeping the tiered crown shape with a slight prevalence of the middle bearer. You should allow the tree to grow up to 11-12 feet. In this case, pruning, care, and fruit collecting will be the most convenient.

How to Perform Pruning

After the tree crown is shaped, regulating and sanitaryfruit treespruning is performed annually. Look how to do branch pruning in the right way, keeping a little distance in front of the bud. In this case, with correct pruning there will be the strongest fixation of the future branch with the base.