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Pruning Tips

Nigel's Fruit Tree Pruning Tips

Training of a fruit tree begins in the early years, and the aim is to develop a well balanced framework of branches that are capable of supporting the fruit crop. This permanent framework provides the reference points for pruning a mature tree.

Early pruning should only be enough to establish this desired framework; heavy pruning on a young tree can delay fruiting. I find open centre pruning is the most common and the most beneficial to use on fruit trees. This is the style of pruning I will explain today.

Open style pruning produces a bowl or vase shaped tree with no main central branch but instead many of the major limbs, or scaffold branches, angle outwards from the main trunk. These branches usually start at about 2 to 3 feet above the ground and should spiral around the tree with about 6 inches between each of the branches. Being able to identify the difference between new and old growth and what is a fruiting spur and a fruiting bud is important when pruning.

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