How Pruning Specific Parts Of A Tree Will Help It Produce Healthy, Tasty Fruit

If you have a fruit tree, you want it to produce fruit that tastes good and that looks good, too. While (highly-processed) pictures of perfect fruit trees in nature, laden with plump fruit, make it look like all you have to do is water the tree occasionally, you have to do a lot more to ensure its health. And if you do want that great-looking and tasting fruit, you have to prune judiciously in different ways. Tree pruning is about more than good looks; it's about wise resource management and good physical care of the tree.

Pruning the Interior of the Canopy to Increase Air Flow

To people, a leafy tree canopy looks like it's growing out from the trunk. Branches extend outward, and leaves and flowers extend from those branches. However, you also have small branches with leaves and flowers growing inward, too, creating a mass of leaves and wood that prevents air from flowing through the canopy as easily as it should. Good canopy air flow dries out excess moisture, making the canopy less hospitable to fungal pathogens and allowing more sunlight to reach the leaves. That air flow makes the tree healthier and better able to produce flowers.

Thinning Crowded Flowers for Better Resource Distribution

Once the flowers appear, look for clusters and remove some of the flowers, such as every other one. The tree will send water and nutrients to each flower, so if there are many flowers, each one will get a certain amount of resources. If there are a lot of flowers crowding each other on each branch, there might not be enough resources to really fulfill each flower's needs. Thinning flowers helps the ones that are left to get more resources and can grow larger fruit after pollination.

Pruning Sprouts and Suckers to Reduce Competition

Some trees produce suckers or water sprouts from their roots. To you, it looks like a baby tree is growing nearby, but it's really a growth from the same tree that will take away nutritional resources and water from the main trunk. Prune these away before they grow too large. If you let one get too big, call a tree service to have them remove it.

A tree service can help you with the other pruning types, too, as well as assist with basic tree care. Contact them if you haven't been pruning your trees so that they can get the trees back into shape.