Summer Pruning Your Fruit Trees

How to prune Espalier and Cordon fruit trees in summer. Pruning is necessary to promote good plant health, remove damaged limbs, encourage new growth, and maintain shape. There are five basic pruning cuts, each aimed at producing a different effect.

1. To produce more or better blossom and fruits.

2. To develop or maintain a desired size, shape and appearance. Most of us have small gardens. Prune to save room for an interesting variety of plants and to keep trees from becoming leggy.

3. To re-establish a balance between root and branch systems after transplanting.

4. To train a young plant. Pruning now to encourage balanced, open growth saves effort later.

5. To rejuvenate, older, neglected trees. Removal of old, over crowded branches.

Summer pruning – Mid August. Espalier, Fan and Cordon fruit trees. Prune back all new growth to 2-3 buds. This will encourage fruit bud development and maintain the shape of the tree. Some summer pruning can be done on fruit bushes to allow light and air into the tree to help the fruits develop.