Monday, March 24, 2014

Basic Fruit Tree Pruning Class

Fruit Tree Pruning Class

I recent attended a basic fruit tree pruning class hosted by Growing West Side. It was a quick introduction to pruning trees specifically fruit trees. It was taught by a local city forester. He spent some time explaining some of the reasons to prune: health, shape, and production. He also showed the tools he uses to care for the trees in the city.

Fruit Tree Pruning Class

After the classroom part, we took a short walk down the street, so he could demonstrate some of the techniques with the different tools. Here he is starting with a four year old plum tree. At that age, he felt the tree could be pruned as much as 30%. With the cold temps still in Minnesota, the time was right for pruning. He trimmed back some of the branches competing with the central leader. The central leader is a concept of a main branch that is the tallest and strongest.

Fruit Tree Pruning Class

A few minutes later, and you can see the tree is looking much better. Lots of the problems with branches competing with each other and rubbing on each other have been resolved. It also looks more open which should allow more sun to reach more parts of the tree. He did most of his pruning with a small pruning saw. He said he prefers that to sheers for most cuts over 3/4”. I will have to consider getting one. It made the job look very easy.

Fruit Tree Pruning Class

In this last photo, he is demonstrating his pole trimmer. It was a very nice tool. When my fruit trees get bigger, I will consider getting one. It extended from 8 to 16 feet. It was easy to use and had a rotating cutting head to get the angle of the cut just right.

I feel more confident about pruning my own trees now. Thanks Growing West Side.

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