Too soon to prune fruit trees in Southern Oregon?

Asked December 12, 2016, 5:03 PM EST

With the lingering warmer weather and not much cold ,is it too soon to prune my fruit trees and/or apply dormant spray?

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

The Rogue Valley has had several days of frost, so your fruit trees should be dormant. Prune in Jan. and up to mid-Feb. Use the following information to check for dormancy: Few or no remaining leaves; next year's buds visible but not yet swollen. Be sure to remove any remaining leaves (rake up and destroy all fallen leaves from under the tree) and any "mummies" (fruit that wasn't picked or didn't develop and is still hanging on the tree). Any dead or damaged wood should be removed first. Young trees do not need as much pruning as a mature tree; the type of tree also dictates how much the tree is pruned: peaches, apricots, and nectarines fruit on one year- old wood so they would receive different treatment than apples or pears, which fruit on "spurs" or shoots that form on two year-old wood. Cherries are also spur-bearers and need relatively little pruning other than to remove dead or diseased wood or to shorten long shoots. An excellent resource, complete with detailed illustrations, is "Training and Pruning Your Home Orchard" available online from Oregon State University Extension:

As for spraying, you don't specify the types of fruit trees you have. The following OSU publication breaks down the spraying schedule by insect pests and disease and the most effective products to use:

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