• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to prune a fruit tree.


    1. In winter, look for branches that rub against each other.
    2. Cut rubbing branches with bypass pruners or pruning saw.
    3. Remove thick, vertical branches with pruning saw.
    4. Open up center of tree by trimming away smaller branches using bypass pruners.
    5. Trim very top of the tree using long-handled loppers.
    6. Remove about one-third of branches; prune again each of the next two years.
    7. Loosely wrap hardware cloth around trunk to create a protective shield.
    8. Use shovel to remove all grass from around tree trunk.
    9. Spread 2 to 3 inches of bark mulch under tree.
    10. Wrap soaker hose around base of tree and water for about 2 hours during spring and summer.
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    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • bypass pruners
        Bypass pruners and pruning saw,
        for trimming small and long branches
      • lopper
        Long-handled loppers,
        used to trim very top of tree
      • Aviation Snips
        Aviation snips,
        used to cut hardware cloth
      • flat blade shovel
        for removing grass from around tree trunk

      Shopping List

      1. Hardware cloth
      used to form protective shield around tree trunk

      2. Soaker hose
      used to watering the tree

      3. Bark mulch
      for covering ground beneath tree