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Sweet peach fruits growing on a peach tree branch in orchard

Fruit trees, as their name indicates, are grown for the fruit they produce, whether the harvest is plums, apples, peaches, or cherries. Ornamentals such as magnolias are grown for the beauty of their flowers and their overall look. Because of this, they do need to be pruned a bit differently from each other. A fruit tree is pruned to open it up to the sun and for its branches to be able to support the weight of its fruit.

Pruning a Fruit Tree

First, the best time to prune a fruit tree is just before its buds open, which in most places is in the late winter or earliest spring. If the tree is mature, the dead, diseased or injured branches need to be removed first. After that, suckers also need to be taken out. Then watersprouts are removed. These are branches that grow vertically up from a limb. If branches need to be removed, they will be cut flush to the branch they’re emerging from to avoid stubs.

The next phase of pruning allows sunlight to reach all of the fruit. An arborist will prune branches that are growing down or toward the center of the tree as well as branches that are crossing or competing with each other. They may need to stand back and circle the tree to see this.

Another thing that needs to be done with a fruit tree that might not be done with an ornamental is to cut out a good percentage of last year’s growth on every branch. This helps them bear the weight of the fruit as it ripens. Arborists recommend that between 20% and 30% of the branch be cut off, so they’ll make the cut somewhere up the branch and about a quarter of an inch above a bud that’s facing outward. They’ll also make sure that the cut is slanted in a way that lets precipitation slide off of it.

Pruning an Ornamental Tree

Dead, damaged or diseased branches, watersprouts, and suckers are pruned the same way as they would be with a fruit tree, but pruning an ornamental that’s grown for its flowers requires the right timing. Ornamentals that flower before June, for example, need to be pruned right after they flower instead of in the early spring. They include:

  • Sweetshrubs
  • Magnolias
  • Laburnums
  • Dogwoods

Trees that should be pruned in the late winter include:

  • Sweetbays
  • Hydrangeas
  • Sumacs
  • Altheas

Call My Complete Tree for Service

Whether you have a view of Sheridan Park or are contemplating a final resting place at Performance Cryogenics, your Sheridan, California fruit and ornamental trees deserve the best care. If your beautiful trees need pruning, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our arborists at All Green Tree Service today.

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