Tips on pruning your fruit tree
Make sure your tools are sharp.
Sterilize your pruning tools using a mixture of 1/4 cup common household bleach, 1 tablespoon dish soap and 1 quart warm water. Dry well before using. Hint: If pruning more than 1 tree or vine, sterilize your pruning tool before moving to the next plant to be pruned.
Insure your ladder is in safe operating condition.
A tripod orchard ladder is light and stable.
Start by removing dead, diseased and crossing branches. Cut back to a branch and don’t leave a stub.
Shorten the previous year’s growth by one fourth to an outward-facing bud.
Remove any strong shoots growing from the center of the tree.
Never remove more than 20 percent of the tree in one year. The more you prune, the more your tree will grow water-shoots.
* Stand back and assess your work regularly.
* There’s no need to paint wounds.
To keep your trees in good healthy, clear away rotting and mummified fruit and dead leaves. Mulch with composted manure, leaf mold and garden compost. Keeping the mulch 6 inches away from the trunk.
This is the ideal time to plant new fruit trees, as long as your soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged.
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