In this episode, Matt and Dan Rounsevel, the owner of Little Tree Tree Service in Boise, Idaho, talk about how to successfully prune your fruit trees. You will discover tips for encouraging fruit production and managing tree growth.

Pruning Fruit Trees - Colorful Red Apple

Matt asks the key question to start the podcast off: “Why do we prune fruit trees at all. What is the point? Aren’t we just creating less space for fruit to grow” Dan goes on to explain that a well-maintained tree will produce more and be easier to collect the fruit. By pruning fruit trees you can control where the fruit actually grows because who wants to get out a 20-foot ladder to reach the top of the tree.

While you may have missed fruit tree planting season, it might not be too late to prune your fruit trees. Dan suggests the time to do the major work is to avoid the spring and hot temperatures of the summer. “Nibbling” as Dan put it can be done year-round, just avoid doing anything dramatic in the spring or in hot temperatures.

A very important thing to consider when pruning isn’t necessarily “what is the branch doing now” but rather what will the branch going to be in five or ten years. Vertically growing branches should always be pruned on fruit trees because they will never produce fruit. Make sure to prune the canopy of the tree so that enough sunlight can reach the entire tree. Identifying dead or dying branches can be done by tapping on them. You will now the branch is dead or dying if you hear a sharp or cracking sound. Dead wood’s bark will be more of a grey color than the rest of the tree.