Why should you prune trees? Is tree pruning good for just trees, or can it help all plants?

We’ll discuss some of the more important aspects of tree pruning, including the why it helps and some tips on pruning your own plants.

tree pruning


Pruning conifers in the dormant season minimizes resin and sap flow, but they really can be pruned any time. Pruning trees with showy flowers also should happen when they’re dormant so you’re able to see the structure, reduce disease, eliminate excessive sap flow, and maximize the wound closure.

Flowering Shrubs

Any flowering shrubs also need dormant season pruning for many of the same reasons. However, they might also need pruning in other times of year too. Shrubs and trees that blossom in the early spring, like the red-bud and dogwood, often need pruning right after the time they flower. A lot of flowering trees are susceptible to fire blight, which is a bacterial disease that pruning can spread. Such trees include pear, crab apple, pear, and varieties of pyracantha, mountain ash, and hawthorn, as well as flowering quince. These all need dormant season pruning. Anything that flowers in the fall or summer also should be pruned while dormant. Alternatively, dead branches can get removed any time.

Train Trees By Pruning

Appropriate tree training opens up the tree’s canopy, which allows maximum penetration of light. Most of any fruit of a deciduous tree is actually formed the earlier year as flower buds. Light penetration is the most essential element in letting buds develop into fruit that is optimal quality and flavor. Even mature fruit trees that grow healthily in full sun can get choked off under a full canopy, as it would keep sunlight from getting more than a foot and a half into the tree. Opening up tree canopy lets air move through appropriately, which dries trees faster and helps prevent infection or pesticide penetration. An appropriately shaped fruit tree is a wonderful asset to landscaping or your garden.

Fruit Trees

Typically, pruning has been a method used for structuring and forming fruit trees. Tree training is possibly now more effective and desirable as the right way to enhance a tree’s form and structure. Pruning just removes tree portions to possibly correct structure, but training is a newer tactic where a tree’s direction of growth is guided towards a desired form and shape. Training fruit trees is critical for them to develop appropriately. Training tree growth is always better than pruning for correction. Pruning is often a winter activity, while training and pruning can both happen in summer on top of dormancy pruning. Training’s purpose is guiding tree growth while minimizing cutting.

Training and pruning are both necessary for fruit trees to develop to their proper form and shape. When you prune fruit trees, they produce fruit faster, better fruit, and longer life spans. The purpose of training and pruning is the development of a strong tree framework that supports large crops of fruit. Without training, fruit trees have branch angles that are too upright, and a heavy crop would then create breakage. Not only does this impact the tree’s productivity, it also shortens how long it will live. Another benefit of annual training and pruning is ridding a tree of limbs that are dead, sick, or broken.

Summer Vs. Fall Pruning

Trees definitely have different responses to dormant pruning versus summer pruning. In the fall season, a tree’s energy is in the trunk and roots. Removing a significant part of the tree won’t change its energy all that much. In spring, trees react by producing a lot of energetic, upright shoots known as water sprouts. These help shade the tree and inhibit good development. The same problem can happen from heavy dormant pruning.

Dormant tree pruning is something that should happen later in the season than earlier, so you can avoid any winter injury. Pecan and apple trees need their pruning to happen before any peach tree pruning, cherry tree pruning, or plum tree pruning. A good practice in pruning early-blooming trees last, and get the later-blooming trees first. It’s a good idea to prune your older trees first, since younger ones are more prone to potential winter injury if they get early pruning. Summer pruning greatly reduces the energy of a tree, which results in a reduction of tree growth. Pruning can start just as soon as buds begin growing, but it often starts once the vegetation growth is a few inches in length. In general, summer pruning only happens to remove upright or vigorous growth, so there should only be cuts for thinning. Summer pruning does have to finish before July is over, to avoid winter injury problems.

This is just a very short article on pruning your plants. If you’re a gardener and are interested in some of the finer points on garden care, read up more on the specific trees and plants in your yard or orchard to learn more about proper pruning.Your garden will love you for it!

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