Fruit tree pruning

Asked January 1, 2013, 1:29 PM EST

Hi! I just moved into a new house that has several fruit trees. They have quite a bit of vertical growth on them, and I was curious if you could give me some advice with pruning them (see attached picture). My house is about ten minutes west of Philomath at around 600' elevation Thanks!

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for contacting us about your fruit trees. At a glance, they seem to be plums, though home orchards often include a mix of trees. Check under the trees for fallen fruit if you don’t know what these are, or consider sending photos as they flower and we can help. Fruit trees are best pruned regularly, for production, tree health, and ease of picking. One instructor of mine said “think of them as fruit bushes, not trees”. Here are some well-written articles and publications about how and when to prune. Study-up on the theory, and then get out there and give it a try. There’s always some trial-and-error learning when pruning, but you’ll find these trees pretty resilient. In my experience, choosing quality, sharp tools and using safety equipment makes a tough job much easier. http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/node/954 http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/how-train-and-prune-your-home-orchard http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22166/pnw400.pdf Also, this article about thinning fruit in the summer is a good one. http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/node/1048