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How to Prune a Fruit Tree

In this how-to video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to trim a tree for optimum growth and fruit production

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

Pruning 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.