Fruit Tree Pruning

John Whitworth Tree Surgery can help greatly improve the yield of your fruit tree, using our expertise in employing specialised pruning patterns to the encouragement for fruit growth on stronger, healthier branches and also to keep the tree down to a manageable size ensuring it can be harvested easily.

Reasons to Prune

Pruning becomes more important for fruit trees than for other trees because you are creating not just a pleasing shape, but a shape that will help the trees to bear high-quality fruit. Left unpruned, heavy upper foliage will shade lower parts of the tree, inhibiting formation of fruiting wood. Eventually, fruit production will be limited to the tips of the high branches where sunlight is present. Harvesting the fruit on a tall tree, perhaps 30 feet high, can be difficult and dangerous. Having a program for pruning will allow the fruit to be harvested more easily, because the tree will be kept shorter and sun will be able to penetrate to the lower fruiting branches. With pruning, the tree is more likely to remain disease-free, larger fruit may result and structural support for the developing fruit will be improved.

Pitfalls we Avoid

Leaving open wounds can lead to disease. In addition, cutting a mature tree back too severely can greatly reduce the year’s fruit yield, and the increased sunlight penetration to the plant’s core may cause the bark to sunburn. This, in turn, can result in an insect attack or the introduction of bacteria into the tree.

Restoring Neglected Trees

As long as the trunk is not hollow, and the tree is not diseased, old fruit trees that have not been pruned for years can be restored to bear fruit again. We tackle the job in stages, remove any dead branches, suckers and water sprouts in the first year. Then, in the second year, remove some of the top branches to let in light, as well as cutting away crossing and inward-pointing branches. We work from the bottom of the tree up and from the trunk outward, opening the center up as you go. By the third year, the framework should be complete, and fruiting can resume.