In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to prune a fruit tree.
Pruning a fruit tree
- In winter, look for branches that rub against each other.
- Cut rubbing branches with bypass pruners or pruning saw.
- Remove thick, vertical branches with pruning saw.
- Open up center of tree by trimming away smaller branches using bypass pruners.
- Trim very top of the tree using long-handled loppers.
- Remove about one-third of branches; prune again each of the next two years.
- Loosely wrap hardware cloth around trunk to create a protective shield.
- Use shovel to remove all grass from around tree trunk.
- Spread 2 to 3 inches of bark mulch under tree.
- Wrap soaker hose around base of tree and water for about 2 hours during spring and summer.