General Discussion:

Pruning Fruit Trees

Messages posted to thread:

sandy09-May-02 12:26 PM EST 3b   
Doug12-May-02 11:00 AM EST 3   
Judy02-Sep-02 05:49 PM EST 2   
Ann02-Sep-02 08:13 PM EST   

Subject: Pruning Fruit Trees
From: sandy
Zone: 3b
Date: 09-May-02 12:26 PM EST

How much can you prune off the fruit trees. I have 2 plums, 1 crabapple with med sized fruit, and 2 Dolgo crabs, I am not sure of the varieties. They are old trees, the Med sized one was overloaded with fruit last year, the Dolgo had hardly any and the plums only one has ever had anything on it speak of.

Subject: RE: Pruning Fruit Trees
From: Doug
Zone: 3
Date: 12-May-02 11:00 AM EST


For pruning of fruit trees, the best time to do it is when it is completely dormant-- Late winter (Jan-Feb). Just to note before explaining what to cut.. ONLY REMOVE UP TO ONE THIRD OF THE BRANCHES PER SEASON. This will keep extra regrowth by the tree (watersprouts/suckers) to a minimum.. which would need to be pruned the following year anyway.

The primary branches you will want to remove first are any that have died, are diseased, or are damaged (which includes branches that are rubbing one another - look at removing the one that will have less impact on the whole shape of the tree).

Next look for places that have a lot of branches growing in close proximity to one another. To decide which ones should go, look at the overall effect each single branch has in the shape of the tree, and remove those that either will increase the health of remaining branches(whether by increasing sunlight reaching the branch or leaving space for the branch to grow out without any problems) or that will have the least impact on the shape of the tree.

Lastly look at pruning for the shape of the tree and for long term health of the tree. This is also the point that you would remove some fruiting spurs (where the fruit grows from), this will reduce the number of fruits the tree produces but will increase the size of the remaining fruits.

If you need anymore info on specific issues email me at


Subject: RE: Pruning Fruit Trees
From: Judy
Zone: 2
Date: 02-Sep-02 05:49 PM EST

I live in east central AB and have some other gardening friends that would be very interested in having a hands on pruning course. Not only fruit trees but various shrubs and ornamentals as well. Anyone interested in helping out and at what price? Thanks

Subject: RE: Pruning Fruit Trees
From: Ann
Date: 02-Sep-02 08:13 PM EST

Ask your local Master Gardener Group or Hort.society, they may be able to provide a workshop.

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