Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When is the Best Time to Prune Fruit Trees?

The best time to prune your fruit tree is in the spring while your tree is still dormant. This allows you to see the branches without leaves in the way and will also allow the tree to start healing as soon as it comes out of dormancy.

Pear Tree Bud Emerging from Dormancy
Pear Tree Bud Emerging from Dormancy

The very best time is right before the buds break, but this is also the very best time to spray those trees with dormant oil, aerate your lawn, cultivate your planting beds, add mulch to your beds, till your garden, plant cold weather crops, compost to your lawn and perennial beds, clean out leaves and dead perennial stalks to make room for your 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.

Loppers Cutting an Apple Tree Branch
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!

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.


  1. Awesome to know if I ever have fruit trees again!

  2. I've always pruned my trees in February/March (still winter here till April)

    Seemed logical, just get it before sap starts to flow