Pruning Fruit Trees

20 Jun

fruittreesLarge overgrown and neglected trees covered with unsightly borers and insect infestation are common reason why people seek tree service in San Diego.
Tree pruning (or tree service), is the process of carefully trimming trees to remove excess branches and foliage so that trees grow evenly. Tree pruning is also important for fire safety; particularly if trees grown under phone and power lines. Pruning also prevents the sides of homes from being overly shaded, which can prevent mold, mildew, and rot to the home.
The three basic methods for pruning fruit trees are: Preserving the height of the tree, by making mostly thinning cuts, reducing the height of the tree over a 3-year period, and cutting back all of the main branches, except for one.
To preserve the height of the tree by making mostly thinning cuts, start by removing the dead and diseased limbs. Redundant limbs, branches that cross together, or branches that grow toward the trees interior should be pruned. Allow sunlight to hit the lower fruit branches by thinning the remainder of the canopy. Be sure to follow these steps annually.
When reducing the height of a tree over a 3-year period, find out how tall you want your tree to be and reduce the height by one-third each year until your height goal has been reached. Large cuts can be made during the growing season; but to prevent disease and infection on the pruning wounds, cuts should ideally be made during the spring. You see, during the spring, there is less rainfall and more active growth, which quickens the healing process to the inevitable wounds caused by pruning, and provides shade as well. Try to avoid making major cuts during the summer, as cut branches sunburn easily and attract borers as well. To prevent sunburns, coat all large branches with a 50-50 mixture of water and white interior latex paint. Thin out any large stubs, as they can stimulate large overgrowth.
Lastly, if you should decide to cut back all of the main branches, except for one, start by cutting back the main branches to your desired height. Cut branches down by 1 to 2 feet, or 4 to 6 feet. Remove branches longer than 2 inches using three cuts to avoid tearing the bark. Using a saw, cut roughly one-quarter of the way through the underside of the branches, 1-2 feet from the point of the attachment, and then take off the limb with a cut on the upper portion of the branch about 1 inch beyond the initial cut. Lastly, remove whats left of the stub just outside of the branch collar.

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