Having fruit trees in your yard gives you access to fresh, delicious fruit. The trees are also beautiful in the spring when they're covered in blossoms! In order to ensure your fruit trees stay productive and healthy, it is essential that you have them pruned each spring. Here's a look at three specific benefits of having your fruit trees pruned regularly.
Lower Risk of Fungal Infection
When your fruit tree is allowed to grow unchecked, the branches towards its middle can become quite densely packed. This causes them to stay wet for a lot longer after rainfall—the breeze cannot work its way in and dry them off as well. Moist branches are a breeding grounds for fungal infections, such as brown rot and anthracnose, which can harm your fruit crop and potentially even kill trees, given enough time. Having your tree pruned regularly to ensure air flow through the branches will help prevent these infections and will also allow you to use fewer fungicide sprays, which is better for your wallet and for the environment.
Bigger, Better Fruit
If you simply leave all of the branches on the tree, it will set a large number of fruits. This may sound lovely at first, but the more fruit your tree sets, the smaller they tend to be. The tree only has so many resources to funnel into fruit production. If you have some branches pruned away, you'll end up with a smaller number of fruits, but they will be larger and of better quality since the tree does not have to divide its resources between as many fruits.
Picking fruit off a tree with too many crowded branches can be quite difficult. You may accidentally knock some fruit out of the tree or damage some branches in the process. There may be fruits you cannot even reach because other branches are in the way. If you have your tree pruned by a professional, they will make sure that every branch that is left behind is easy to access, so picking fruit remains enjoyable rather than a chore.
Generally, it is best to have your trees pruned in late winter before the buds start to appear. If you are not experienced in tree pruning, hire a professional (like Tree Sculptors) to do it for you. This way, you know that the right branches will be removed and your tree will continue to thrive.