Spring Fruit Tree Care

If the coldest weather is likely past and the buds on your trees are expanding now is the time to prune most of your fruit trees.   Apples, cherries, peaches, pears, plums, and apricots should all be pruned at this time.

I pruned my trees last week and will be spraying them with horticultural oil within days.  Pruning of fruit trees helps them to be healthier, produce better, and makes harvesting easier. Check with your county extension service and see if they have free pruning demonstrations.

You can prune dead, broken, or branches that rub against others at anytime.  Be sure to cut branches back to another branch or a bud.  If you cut in between branches or buds it will die back anyway.  If you hire someone to prune be sure that they know how to prune fruit trees and that they do not top trees.  Topping trees is unhealthy for the tree and will create problems in the future.  Arborists are professional tree pruners.

After pruning spray the entire tree with horticultural oil.  The oil spray suffocates overwintering insects on the tree.  I would consider oil spray to be one of the most important things you can do for insect control.