3 Mistakes To Avoid When Pruning A Fruit Tree For Winter

If you want your fruit tree to actually bear fruit come the spring and summer months, you'll need to prune it before the frigid temperatures of winter strike. This way, the tree's branches will be trimmed and ready for healthy, steady growth once temperatures begin to warm up once again. If you choose to prune your own fruit trees rather than contact a professional tree service, you can save yourself some money. However, there are some big mistakes you'll want to be careful to avoid in the process.

Failing to Prune Low-Hanging Branches

One of the most common mistakes people make when they choose to prune their own fruit trees is not pruning low-hanging branches. Generally, low-hanging branches have the most difficult time growing come spring and summer, so it's best to trim them back in the winter. This is especially true of any branches that are beginning to slant towards the ground, as these will not only fail to bear any fruit but may also hinder your access to the tree later on.

Not Pruning Suckers

Suckers are small branches or growths that tend to appear along the base of a fruit tree. They're called suckers because they do just that--suck the nutrients and water from the rest of the tree. It's important that you prune back all suckers in the winter; otherwise, they may continue to grow and you'll have a very hard time dealing with them in the spring. In fact, if suckers grow large enough, they may actually prevent the tree from being able to produce any more fruit. It's usually easy to tell when you're looking at a sucker because it'll have a different appearance from the rest of the tree's healthy branches--so be sure to search carefully and get rid of them.

Not Knowing When to Remove a Tree

Finally, there may come a time when your fruit tree has simply grown too large or has succumbed to a tree ailment and will never be able to produce fruit again. Therefore, it's important to know when it's time to have a tree removed. Failure to remove a diseased fruit tree can not only cause an eyesore on your property, but could also lead to a pest problem--as many insects are attracted to dead or dying trees. When in doubt, contact a professional tree service like Kansas City Tree Care, LLC to assess your tree and determine whether or not tree removal is necessary.