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Specialized Advice for Fruit Tree Pruning

By on January 27, 2012

Walk through the process of pruning a bare root fruit tree in Tricia’s video, where she prunes her new peach tree.

Are you ready to plant and prune some bare root trees? The video has all the basic steps you need.

Pursue some special pruning topics (like espalier) in more detail with these resources.


Do you own The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible? The hot-off-the presses companion volume is The Fruit Gardener’s Bible, with info on everything from pollination to pruning.

If you’re growing fruit trees in California you should own The Home Orchard, written by Chuck Ingels (Farm Advisor in Sacramento) and others from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources staff.

If you’re adding fruit trees within an established garden you’ll find creative ideas in Landscaping with Fruit by Lee Reich.

For advice on all kinds of pruning we recommend Pruning Made Easy by the famed Lewis Hill.


The University of California provides information to county Farm Advisors and Master Gardeners all over the state. Here are some of their helpful links for your backyard orchard:

The Cooperative Extension for Sacramento County outlines Training and Pruning Fruit Trees.

University of California, Davis provides a guide to Fruit Trees: Planting and Care of Young Trees.

Do you have a mature fruit tree that needs reshaping? Find out how to address that tricky problem with another publication from the University of California, Davis— Fruit Trees: Pruning Overgrown Deciduous Trees.

These are good guidelines, but if you’re outside of California and curious about the particular advice for your area, contact your local Cooperative Extension (Farm Advisors and Master Gardeners). Here’s a map for locating your own regional researchers and experts.

Multi-graft trees are special cases

Dave Wilson Nursery, the grower of our multi-budded (or multi-graft) fruit and nut trees, offers expert tips on pruning these unusual trees. Bottom line—don’t let one variety take over the tree, and be cautious in dormant or summer pruning of smaller branches.

  Comments (2)


Helpful video, and I would suggest adding advice on how/why of choosing the 3-5 support branche in a three dimensional sense, in other words, importance of choosing the 3-5 that form an x, or N-W S E directions from the main from the top looking down..  The pruner should be looking straight down when choosing the support branches…to find those that are at 90 degrees to one another, or thereabouts.
  If I had known that when my peach was young, it wouldn’t now be a 11 year old misshapen one.

Posted by Andrew on Feb. 27, 2012 at 7:52:42 PM

Good advice, Andrew. Thank you!

Posted by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 8:57:39 PM

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