6 Tips for Pruning Young Fruit Trees

Young fruit trees need pruning for healthy growth and optimal fruit output. Correct pruning shapes the tree, strengthens branches, and maximises fruiting. The following six tips can help your young fruit trees produce fruit for years.  

After planting, prune young fruit trees in their first or second dormant season. Early pruning helps shape the tree and build a strong branch skeleton.  

1. Start Early

Examine the tree for diseased, dead, damaged, and crossing or rubbing branches. Sharp, clean pruning shears should be used to cut outside the branch collar.  

2. Remove Diseased Branches

Choose a central leader (single main stem with lateral branches) or open-center (vase-shaped) fruit tree shape. Prune to promote desirable growth.  

3. Encourage Central Leader

Reduce overcrowded branches to increase canopy airflow and sunlight penetration. Take down any branches that are growing towards the centre or crossing.  

4. Thin Out Excess Growth

Balance the canopy with regularly spaced branches to disperse energy and enhance fruit production. Over-pruning might stress the tree and postpone fruiting.  

5. Maintain Balance 

Predict the tree's growth and prune to avoid overcrowding and retain its shape. Remember the tree's normal growth habits and alter pruning cuts to allow new growth.  

6. Consider Future Growth

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