From planting to harvesting, the fruit tree undergoes multiple care to ensure its good general condition. The pruning of fruit trees is a crucial periodical intervention allowing the optimal development of the fruit.
In addition to the techniques specific to the pruning of fruit trees, it will be necessary to choose the right moment to carry out this operation.
Why prune fruit trees?
As detailed in our article Fruit Tree: Care and Growth, the pruning of fruit trees is essential to:
- Stimulate growth
- Promote pollination
- Prevent diseases
- Facilitate the harvesting of fruit
- Extend the harvest period
The different pruning types
First of all, it is important to know that there are three types of fruit tree pruning and that each is adapted to a stage of development:
- Formation pruning: to give shape to the young fruit tree.
- Maintenance pruning: to eliminate dead and diseased twigs and prevent the crossing of branches.
- Fruiting or production pruning: to develop fruit production.
The right time to trim your fruit tree
During the first five years of the tree, it is recommended that a formation pruning be carried out. This pruning consists of cutting a few branches to improve the tree’s structure while maintaining its natural shape.
In addition to the above-mentioned advantages, the pruning of fruit trees is essential and should be carried out annually, as fruit buds require certain vigour to develop. Otherwise, the fruit buds become leaf buds because their vigour will have dispersed in several vegetative shoots.
It’s recommended to prune the fruit tree before flowering and bud bursting. Generally, this period is between the beginning of March and the month of June. It starts as soon as the minimum temperature does not reach freezing point.
During this period, the low density of foliage makes it easier to identify cuts.
Important facts about pruning
Thinking of pruning your fruit tree in late summer? You should know that this is a very bad practice much more harmful than productive. Indeed, for a good fruit production, it’s strongly recommended to carry out the pruning during the month of February, March or April. This will balance the growth of wood and fruit production and maximize your harvests.
However, if you don’t want to increase fruit growth, you can prune throughout the year.
For more information on the pruning of fruit trees, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Émondage SBP, our team is always ready to advise you and meet your arboriculture needs.