Should I Prune My Fruit Trees In Winter?

Should I Prune My Fruit Trees In Winter?

While most of us are spending winter hiding out from the cold, others don’t feel so thermally challenged: Want to brave winter and trim trees without the company of the sun? Motivation alone shouldn’t be your only tool. Prior to trimming any tree, it’s important to understand the basic rules, and that’s the truth: rain, hail or shine.

If you thought that timing was everything when it comes to trimming trees, you’d be about 80% right. You see, most trees cope surprisingly well with a bad haircut and given time, the worst decisions are forgiven and grow out. But there are ideal times to get busy with the pruning saw; if you missed out on the summer pruning of your fruit trees, winter is the next-best time to tackle unwanted growth.

For great fruit quality, trimming and pruning is a must. While failing to trim won’t result in poor fruit production, it can still result in missed opportunities to detect pests or damage, avoid overworked branches, susceptibility to disease ( through cracked branches from extra weight, etc) even out energy supply and improve a general look of tidiness. Here are a few basic rules if you do happen to find yourself thinking about pruning trees in the dead of winter:

  • DO use clean, good quality tools that are compatible with the job. If your gear doesn’t stand up to the task, you’ll do more damage than good.
  • DON’T Prune in bad weather. Pruning in the wet can encourage rot, so wait for a mild day- or better yet, a series of mild days before cutting anything.
  • DO use an A-frame ladder to reach parts of the tree you can’t access from the ground. Prioritising stability on a ladder won’t get you brownie points, but it will keep you out of a plaster cast or worse.
  • DON’T Behead the tree. ‘Topping’ or ‘skulling’ a tree can often result in growth direct from the trunk which looks pretty awful. If you’re not sure whether what you’re doing would be classed as topping the tree, this is your cue to step down and call a professional arborist.

Need assistance with fruit tree pruning, or trimming established trees? Daryl’s Tree Care professionals can assist. We are skilled in all aspects of keeping your gardens healthy and happy. For more information about the services we provide, call and speak to a member of our team on (03) 98974418 today.