Well, you can actually do this at any time of year. Winter pruning encourages vigorous growth: Moreover, when you prune your tree in the late winter or early spring, you will spur vigorous growth. This training for young trees can take many forms, but the most common is central leader training. Once the energy has been sucked out of the leaves, those leaves will turn brown and fall off the tree. from the ground and remove any side shoots. Best Time of Year to Trim, Prune Trees (Hint: It’s Not Fall) For some reason, many people believe tree pruning in the fall is the perfect time of year, especially where four seasons are present. Once the tree is mature, if proper training took place, pruning is nearly unnecessary except to reduce downward weak branches, waterspouts and remove dead wood. As the weather cools, the tree prepares for dormancy by moving those sugars down into its roots for winter storage. In general, pruning of apples (Malus species), pears (Pyrus species) and quince (Cydonia oblongata) is best carried out in winter. Quince fruits are produced on the new season’s growth so winter pruning can be used to promote new shoots and a better fruit crop. Is your tree already getting too tall to harvest easily? Happy growing everyone! Additionally, dormant pruning is used on mature trees to keep the lateral branches in the proper shape by cutting them back to at least two-year-old wood that is at close to the same diameter using angle cuts that force water away from the cut end. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! An excuse for hot cider, dancing and fun! This has to do with your tree's seasonal cycle of energy. Some orchardists like to prune in the spring after the tree's buds have opened and the blossoms and leaves have started to emerge. That's because that tree has already used up some of its stored energy to fuel leaf, blossom, and shoot growth on its many branches before pruning. However, you may choose to wait until late winter to ensure that the wound will heal quickly afterwards. Pruning should be undertaken at planting time where you cut the new stem off 24 to 30 inches (61-76 cm.) Do you want your young or newly planted tree to grow faster, or have you just planted a. After five to six weeks, remove these spreaders. It is important to be able to identify the disease problem, to know if pruning is an effective treatment, and to know how much is necessary to cut off. At Orchard People we are careful to select sponsors who offer quality products and services for fruit tree growers. There are a few different opinions on the best season to prune fruit trees. Fruit Tree Pruning in the Summer The best time for pruning fruit trees is at planting and in subsequent years, in early spring before buds break and trees are still dormant. Fruit trees hardly grow at all during the winter months (their roots continue to grow, but that’s about it). Speaks at conferences and symposiums across North America about fruit tree care, urban orchard design, fruit tree cultivars and more. Is your tree diseased? Correct fruit tree pruning, at the right time of year, can help you achieve those goals. So, now that you know when to prune fruit trees, it’s important to how to prune your tree. Are some of the branches broken? This is because in the early winter, branch growth is minimal, and the tree cannot heal the wounds caused by pruning cuts. It does this through photosynthesis: a process by which your tree turns the light of the sun into sugars that are stored in its leaves. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Read on for some tips and techniques on fruit tree pruning. The spring was a busy time for your tree! But if you see a diseased branch in winter or summer, it's usually a good idea to remove it so the disease (like black knot, canker, or fireblight) doesn't spread within the tree and to neighbouring trees. I'm going to explore some of these questions in this blog. Initial fruit tree pruning is important to help young trees produce thick stems and open canopies where light and air can enter and promote flowering, as well as reduce fungal and bacterial diseases. Is this a good time to prune fruit trees? But if you don’t prune your tree correctly, you can hurt it more than help it. If you live in a cold climate, winter pruning is fantastic because the tree is dormant, with no leaves, flowers, or fruit. Most of the remaining energy will be saved for a flurry of action in the spring, when fruit trees emerge from dormancy. Summer pruning has many benefits. Because your tree doesn't have a stockpile of energy, it won't grow vigorously as a result of the summer pruning, so this can help you reduce the size of a larger tree. But why is that? When you plant a larger tree, it's harder to create the ideal shape for growing fruit. Timing and method of fruit tree pruning can enhance the amount and quality of your crop. The scaffold is formed by selecting a scaffold whorl, four to five balanced branches, which will form the base form of the tree. Or, do you want to encourage a young fruit tree to grow faster? Summer pruning can be used, however, to slow down overly vigorous trees or trees that are too large. Susan Poizner is an urban orchardist and the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards.