Pruning: A primary objective of pruning is to develop a strong tree framework that will support fruit production. Proper tree pruning also opens up the tree canopy to maximize light and air penetration. Additionally, a well shaped fruit tree is aesthetically pleasing, whether in a landscaped backyard or a garden.
Basic principles of pruning fruit trees:
- The first years a fruit tree is in the ground are important to its future performance. It's then that the tree should form its permanent framework. Start pruning as early as possible.
- Remove all dead, diseased and weak branches. Prune away new branches that grow at odd angles and vertical growing shoots
- Maintain open space between limbs and thin secondary branches to allow sunlight and air to reach the center of the tree.
- Select the three or four strongest branches to form the canopy and remove all the others - including any attached to the main trunk at a narrow angle.
- To avoid breakage, keep the lateral branches as short as possible. Don’t let the tree spread too much.
- Remember that heavy pruning will encourage vigorous growth while selective pruning will increase the fruit production.
Cherries: They are usually pruned with moderation in summer, to reduce the attack of a disease called Silver Leaf.