Orchard pruning on a yearly basis is not only essential for the overall health of the tree but will also ensure that it produces healthy and plentiful amounts of fruit for you each year. Follow these simple and important steps to ensure your orchard pruning is done properly:
- Timing: The ideal time to prune your fruit trees (including roses) is in late winter or early spring, before leaf buds show green at tips.
- Tools: Having the right tools is a must. Using improper or dull tools can cause damage to the tree. While professional arborists often use power saws, simple hand tools will suffice to reach the desired outcome.
- Orchard Ladder – if you perform a large volume of orchard pruning you may want to invest in a proper ladder which is designed for good support and extended reach into the core of the tree.
- A pair of good pruning shears.
- A set of lopping shears on a pole extension which allow you to prune any hard to reach branches (approx. 1” diameter or less).
- A good pull saw which allows a good clean cut and is self cleaning properties remove all debris during the push stroke.
- Clean Solution: Mix 1/10th beach with water to clean your tools between trees to prevent the transfer of fungus especially on easily susceptible trees like peach and pear.
- Give the tree airflow: Prune any shoots or branches in the core of the tree that grow inward. Removing these branches allows airflow and sun-exposure.
- Remove all upward facing branches will allow you to keep the tree manageable and makes harvesting easier.
- For all larger branches or leaders, all cuts should be done in a 3-cut process to avoid damage to the bark which provides the majority of nutrients to the extremities of the tree. The 1st cut removes the majority of the branch usually leaving 8” – 1’ of growth from the trunk. Then perform two cuts to remove the remaining stem while controlling with your other hand. It is important not to damage the bark system. This promotes latent growth around the area.
- Clean-up: Remove all branches and debris from yard and gardens.
- Dormant Spray Kit: Should be used in early spring before leaf buds show green tips. This horticulture oil and lime sulphur should be applied when night temperatures are above freezing and early in the day to allow time for spray to dry. This spray kills overwintering insects and disease on your fruit trees and can also be used on your roses, shrubs and ornamentals.
For a recommendation on an arborist, please contact us at (416)262-0609