Pruning trees off-season
Hello. I'd like to prune an old apple tree in our yard, but never seem to manage to do it at the right time. I don't care about fruit production for this season or the next, so does it matter if I prune it now? It is a very old apple tree with sub-par fruit, but I don't want to remove the whole tree. Also, we have a non-producing peach tree that I would also like to cut back a bit to give other things more sun. Can I prune it whenever I want if I don't care how it will affect the fruit? Oh, and if it matters, these trees are in Bend. (So I guess that's two questions...) Thanks!
Deschutes County Oregon
Hi, If you are not concerned about fruit production you can go ahead and prune them both now. The generally rule of thumb is not to remove more than 1/3 of the total tree canopy in any given season. Since leaves produce food for the tree, you do not want to remove too many at any one time. We also have a few publications that can assist you with pruning. One for restoring an old apple tree and another one on pruning fruit trees in general.
Restoring an old apple tree:
Thanks, Amy Jo