Fall is the perfect season for s’mores, campfire ghost stories, and a steaming cup of apple cider. It’s also when many homeowners think of trimming their fruit trees.
One of the more common mistakes we see homeowners make is trimming their fruit trees while the fruit and leaves are still present. This creates extra openings in the tree’s vascular system that allows deadly diseases to enter. Too many beautiful fruit trees become the victims of blight and other diseases from poorly timed trimmings.
Pruning encourages growth.Pruning your fruit trees in summer remove important leaves that help collect vitamin-rich sunlight for growth. It also slows the fruit ripening process and exposes the fruit to potential sun damage. Pruning your tree before it goes dormant for the winter also tells the tree, “Start growing!” right before winter hits. That’s similar to stomping on the gas before you get to a red light: it’s dangerous!
Fruit trees need to be fully dormant before you start pruning them. If any fruit or leaves are still hanging around, it’s too early to trim. It’s best to wait to trim until we’ve had a good season of sub-freezing weather. This forces your trees into hibernation and protects them from an unwanted growth spurt before winter.
When should you prune apple trees and pear trees?
The best time to prune apple trees is in the dead of winter after a solid season of freeze. (Colorado State Plant Talk) All of the leaves and fruit is gone and that means you can clearly see the branch structure of the tree. Short, small branches are called ‘spurs’ and produce most of the flowers that eventually produce fruit.
You can also wait to early spring to trim before your tree starts to leaf out. Pear trees are similar to apple trees in their arbor care. The growing seasons are close to each other and provide a nice complement of pollination for local bees to encourage fruit growth.
When should you prune cherry, peach, plum, and apricot trees?
Stone fruit trees, which refers to the pit or stone inside the fruit, are cherry trees, peach trees, plum trees, and apricot trees. The same approach to pruning apple trees applies to pruning stone fruit trees. There are not that many peach trees in the Denver area because of the late frosts we often experience in the spring. However, a good mix of fruit trees on your property with healthy flowers will help cross-pollinate your flowers for better growth. This is why trimming your fruit trees after they’ve gone dormant for the winter is crucial. You may be trimming only one tree but it could affect numerous other trees in your yard or neighborhood if you prune at the wrong time.
There are plenty of cherry trees that need pruning along the Cherry Creek area (now you know why it’s called Cherry Creek) and all throughout Old Town Littleton. Trimming fruit trees in south Denver, especially stone trees, is one of our more popular winter services. Tree trimming is an art and needs to be done by a certified arborist, like our team at Fielding Tree and Shrub Care.
If you need your fruit trees trimmed in the Highlands Ranch, Littleton, south Denver, or Douglas County areas, we’d love to serve you! Fielding Tree offers complimentary on-site estimates. Click here to schedule your free estimate with Fielding Tree.