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The Art and Science of Tree Pruning In order to effectively learn how to prune a fruit tree, it is important to understand first how to grow a fruit tree. One of the basic things you should know about your tree and its fruit is that it is composed of two parts. Grafting is one of the most common ways in which fruit trees are grown. The top part of the fruit tree if often the better part, and the bottom, the poor part. Experts turn to grafting in order to produce more trees of good quality. Having a good fruit tree is the first step to improving its fruit production by proper pruning techniques.
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What you have may be a bare rooted tree. Trimming bare rooted trees is the first step in planting. Trees that were planted in small plots or need little cutbacks, as they hardly undergo damage when transplanted. But trees that have been dug up have obviously seen some damage on its roots and needs to be cutback.
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Sometimes it helps to prune the top part of the tree and its roots, if you get your tree by mail order. Cut away all roots that are broken or that have crooked edges. This gives your tree smooth recovery. Make the surface of the roots equal by cutting part of the top. A fruit tree with no side branches needs to be cutback by a third of its height. Thus, if you have a tree that is about six feet tall, you need to cutback two feet from its top. The cut should be done above the bud, and in a slanted way. Trim all branches that look withered, dead or broken, or too near the ground. After you cut the top by a third, you also need to cut every strong branch by a third. Look for the bud and cut the branches on its outer side in order for the new branches to grow outwardly and not toward the tree trunk. New trees need the special care described above. When your fruit tree arrives, don’t forget to soak its bare roots to keep them from drying up. Keep in mind also that you need good quality soil and proper depth for your new fruit tree. There are things you can do to your tree, like snipping and pinching, to save you the trouble later. It is good to visualize your tree in its maturity while it is still young to motivate you to trim it and snip off its buds. All pruning done on the first year shapes the tree and keeps the branches limited. Fruit ripens better when this is done. There are trees that tend to need more trimming than others. It takes time to master the art of pruning, but when you master it, your tree will yield more fruit to your satisfaction.