The time has come to prune your fruit trees – after harvest

prunning tree

Are you harvesting the last apples or other fruits? If so, you must be a happy gardener because you are about to finish and enjoy your harvest, right? It seems to us that this year was really great. But you should not forget about the upcoming season either. Your trees deserve the necessary care and we do not mean proper fertilizing or watering only, but also pruning! Perhaps you are of the opinion that pruning is more appropriate before winter or during spring. Well, we think that pruning is more efficient now, after harvesting, when trees still have some leaves on them.

Why now?

There are two main reasons. The first one is the fact that winter is still quite far away and pruned trees will have several weeks to recover. If you prune right before the winter, weakened trees may have harder time to recover, and if you prune during spring when trees are awakening from sleep and starting to fill up with sap, there is a danger that they will lose much of the sap through the cuts.

prunning treePhoto: Radek Štěpán

Simple pruning

There is nothing to worry about. That is, if you are not planning to do a complex rejuvenation cut. We only try to cut branches that go directly inside the crown, or towards the centre of the tree. This is done to allow more light to enter the crown. Only branches that point outward should remain. However, we shortened them too by roughly 2/3. As a result, the tree becomes more compact in shape and you may reach fruits near the trunk comfortably. Check the result of our pruning in the photo.

prunning tree

Photo: Radek Štěpán

Additional pruning notes

Make sure to remove dry or diseased parts of the tree, and to do so, use only a high-quality, well-sharpened saw and good pruning shears. Do not forget to use proper protective equipment and gloves. If you cannot reach upper branches you need to use a ladder so you can cut branches comfortably and exactly where you need to. For lower branches you may also use a regular saw with an extension bar. Sometimes, this will do the trick.

Photo: Radek Štěpán

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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