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Denver Fruit Tree Pruning and Training
Did you know the best time to prune your fruit trees is during December and January, or the tree’s dormant season? This ensures your tree is structurally sound and grows high quality fruit yields. Your tree’s dormant season is when the leaves have already fallen off the tree and it’s easier to see what you’re doing, especially with the removal of dormant buds which invigorates new buds to form. Without training and pruning, fruit trees will not develop proper form and shape. Denver dormant pruning has many benefits:
• Limb structure will develop and will increase the strength of the tree
• The size will be easier to maintain and fruit will be easier to reach
• Fruit bearing will be regulated as it removes excess fruitwood
• Removes undesirable wood
• The tree lives longer
• Higher yields of fruit are produced
• Higher light penetration is achieved with pruning and is essential for fruit and flower growth and quality
Dormant pruning is an invigorating process as the tree stores energy from the fall in the trunk and root system and when it is pruned, the energy reserve remains unchanged. However, over pruning can lead to upright shots called water sprouts, which can shade the tree and inhibit proper development. It’s best to limit dormant pruning to dead or damaged limbs and removing those that develop the tree’s desired shape. Sun exposed wood produces the largest fruit as opposed to shaded branches which eventually stop fruiting. Pruning at the top of the tree to make sure the lower branches are exposed to sunlight is a great way to ensure maximum fruit yields.
Young fruit trees should be pruned a good amount to encourage rapid growth for the first three years without much fruit. In your tree’s first year, it’s best to keep three to four limbs distributed evenly around the top of the tree to shade it from sunburn and for early fruiting. When the tree is a little older, select one or two limbs on each primary and head these back to ½ their length or about 24-30”.Make sure to leave most of the small horizontal branches for later fruiting. Peach trees produce the heaviest fruit, so they need the most aggressive pruning. A good rule to go by is prune the latest blooming trees first, and the earliest blooming last. Oldest trees should also be pruned first.
Pruning trees in the right season is crucial if you want them to stay healthy and producing delicious fruit. Your Denver tree service, American Arbor care can help make sure that your tree is pruned efficiently, properly, and without damage. Get the most out of your fruit tree and contact us today!