Pruning Fruit Trees

Asked October 14, 2013, 6:53 PM EDT

Hi have a plum (unknown variety) and an Asian pear tree and am wondering the best time to prune them. They were pruned last in the spring and did not produce fruit this year. Wondering if there is a better time & how to ideally prune them as well.

Multnomah County Oregon pruning fruit trees horticulture

1 Response

Fruit trees are commonly pruned while dormant, in part because it’s easy to see the structure of the tree. But one can also prune during the summer, typically by mid-July. It’s a good practice to remove any fruit that sets during the first 3 years so that the trees develop a strong structure and also have sufficient time to develop a vigorous root system to support future abundant harvests.

The reasons for the lack of fruit after the trees were pruned this spring may be due one or more of the following reasons:
1.
The trees are too young to bear.

2.
The pruning removed the flower buds.

3.
A pollinator tree isn’t available.


These resources have the answers you need:
- Training and Pruning Your Home Orchard http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22166/pnw400.pdf
- Growing Asian pears http://agresearch.umd.edu/recs/WREC/files/GrowingAsianPears-Newell.pdf This document includes training information and a chart for pollination requirements.

Thank you for using Ask an Expert,
Jean