Published on 08/03/2023

Every fruit tree has different pruning characteristics depending on the species and climate.

The right time

Pome fruit trees like apple and pear trees are the only ones that should be pruned in winter.

Stone fruit trees like plum and cherry trees should be pruned and trimmed in August or September, no later, otherwise the healing will be poor.

Useful tips

Your pruning tools must be sharp and clean.

Make sure to disinfect your pruning tools before use, as disease transmission is a real risk.

Apply pruning paint, healing balm, or artificial bark to the most critical wounds.

Young trees

If you have just planted a fruit tree, you must prune it according to the shape you want to give it (open center or espalier?).

You should strive to balance the young tree's framework by removing redundant or cross-over branches. By cutting back an existing branch at the right direction, you can force the development of missing branches.

Established trees

For cleaning, remove dead branches, those that cross over (keep the strongest!), and damaged wood. Remove all the mummified fruits on the branches.

Thin out to bring light to the tree's center and achieve uniform fruit production. To do this, remove inward-pointing branches.

Cut back the ends of the main branches to reduce their length (called "heading back"). This will distribute sap to the lateral branches, which will stimulate development. Be sure to rearrange these branches so that fruit production occurs close to the main branch. This is not at the end of branches that only bear leaves.

To optimize the placement of the future branch, you must systematically prune above a bud facing outward.

Go for it!

Many people hesitate to prune because it seems like a complex operation. While this is true if you want to apply all the subtleties, you can still achieve interesting results without being an expert. With practice, you will feel more comfortable.

It is better to make an incorrect pruning cut than to avoid it altogether, as in the long run, the tree will produce only low yields of poor quality.