There are two types of fruit trees, stone fruit (peach or cherry) and pome fruit (pear or apple) and although each has its development characteristics, pruning fruit trees have certain basic rules. That is why it is essential to know how to do it.
Pruning a fruit tree consists of cutting some stems to allow the tree to bear fruit on a regular basis and to grow steadily. This must be carried out according to a couple of rules.
First you have to consider which group the tree belongs to, since those with fruit from seeds form branches in a year or more and can continue to bear fruit in the following years. Whereas stone fruit trees only bear branches from the previous year. This means that those that have already borne fruit will not produce again, so the stems to be cut should be identified before starting to prune it.
Proper tools are needed for pruning. So a handsaw or pruning shears can be adapted to the task. These should be clean and well sharpened to allow accurate cuts and prevent disease. If necessary, it is best to disinfect tools with a bleach or alcohol solution.
As for pruning, it should be cut about 3 or 4 mm above it. Large cuts should be treated with a healing product such as vegetable tar.
There are few rules to follow to know which part of branches to remove. First it is necessary to remove those branches that consume a lot of nutrients and unsightly branches. This includes vertical branches that have a lot of force, poorly positioned branches and branches that disturb the aeration of the crown. So this operation will bring great advantages such as: more light and air between the branches and the trunk, which will favor the chlorophyll actions of the leaves, activate the vegetation and bring color to the fruit. Afterwards, the structure of the crown would have to be reduced to a minimum, at this stage the surplus of fruit branches should be suppressed.
It is recommended to keep the fruit branches that are close to the mother branch. Likewise, the ideal is to leave the young branches, since the best fruits tend to be produced in them. In fact, pruning a fruit tree will alter the balance of the tree’s parts and will delay fruiting. Likewise, it is essential to maintain the shape and size, that is, to consider the dimensions that correspond to the rectangle with the greatest width of the tree.