This past winter I wrote two columns about the proper pruning of stone fruits and other deciduous fruit trees. This important chore continues to be one of the more misunderstood gardening responsibilities. I still get comments from readers who say they enjoyed the articles. I promised then that I would mention the value of summer pruning at a later time.
In those original columns, written in December, I remarked that the objectives of summer and winter pruning are quite different, although both important.
Before you prune another branch on your peach, nectarine, plum, apricot, apple, persimmon, pluot, almond or other deciduous fruit tree, take a moment to learn about the unique pruning needs of these trees. Correct pruning will lead to healthier trees, strong structure and delicious yields for decades to come.
Most established backyard deciduous fruit trees need pruning twice a year, with a different purpose at each session. Summer pruning can be done while there is still fruit on the tree, but is most often performed immediately following the harvest. The primary purpose of summer pruning is to manage tree size.