The best time to prune fruit tree is in the early spring, when your tree is still dormant. This allows you to see branches without leaves obstructing your view. Pruning early will also allow your tree to start healing as soon as it comes out of dormancy.
|Pear Tree Bud Emerging from Dormancy|
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The very best time is right before the buds break, because you know that your tree is awake, but you don't have to worry about fragile new leaves and blossoms being damaged in the pruning process. The only problem with pruning your fruit trees this time of year is that this is also the very best time to spray those trees with dormant oil, mulch your trees and flower beds, remove tree wrap, aerate your lawn, thatch your lawn, till your garden, plant cold weather crops and annuals, add compost to your lawn and perennial beds, clean out leaves and dead perennial stalks to make room for your spring bulbs, clean out last years growth from your ornamental grasses, prune your roses, prune raspberries, turn on your sprinklers, fix your sprinklers, and enjoy the nice spring weather before it gets too hot.
Phew, that's a lot of work in a very short window of time. I like to prune my trees in January and February because I'm anxious to get out, and pruning is one task that can be done early. Pruning your tree early may slow the healing process slightly but won't effect the trees overall health.
|Pruning an Apple Tree|
It will be nice to know that with all you have to do this spring, one of the most important things on your list is done, and a pruned tree is a happy tree!
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Thanks for reading! For more information regarding fruit tree care and pruning, please join our Backyard Fruit Growers Facebook Group and subscribe to our Fruit Pruning YouTube Channel. If you are new to pruning, take this 9 Lesson Pruning Course.