Sunday was our second class in Susan Poizner’s four-part workshop series on caring for your fruit tree, and it was all about pruning! If you want to read about Workshop #1 first, click here.
The first portion of the workshop was classroom style, where we learned everything there is to know about pruning fruit trees – what to do, when to do it, where to do it, why to do it, and how to do it. We then made our way to a volunteer tree to put what we learned to use!
Why prune? Well, it’s important for a fruit tree’s energy to be pushed into the fruit, rather than the unimportant branches that are taking up space. The more branches on the tree, the less fruitful it will be (memorize that rhyme!). Pruning the branches leaves more space between them, which lets more sunlight in and allows each remaining branch to absorb more energy. Having more space between branches also allows for better air circulation, which can help prevent pests and disease from enveloping your tree.
Susan emphasized that it is rarely too late to prune a tree to its correct form, though some trees may take slightly longer. The point that Susan stressed the most is that you should prune 20% of your tree each year. This means that if you have an older tree that is looking scraggly, it may take 4-5 years to get it to its perfect structure. If your tree is still young, you can prune about 25-30% of the tree each year.
If you missed the workshop and want to learn more about pruning, visit Susan’s website to check out her other workshops, her online training, or her book.
The next workshop is all about ridding your tree of pests and disease, so if your tree is looking ill, definitely come out to that one! We will be learning in the classroom first, and then going out to look at two trees that have pests or disease to apply our newfound knowledge!
You can register for the remaining workshops on Eventbrite by clicking here.