The worst of winter is probably over and many people are looking forward to getting back out into their yards for another season of gardening. Even though there’s still a lot of snow and ice in and around Calgary, and crocuses won’t be popping up for several more weeks, now is an excellent time to start thinking about how to prune fruit trees.
While Calgary isn’t known as a fruit growing area, several varieties of apple, pear, plum, and crab apple grow very well here. Eating fresh fruit grown in your own yard is a treat that must be experienced to truly appreciate. Fruit trees require a lot of care and attention to keep them healthy, producing good fruit, and to prevent them from taking over your yard. If you have fruit trees, pruning them could be the inaugural event that kicks off another season of gardening.
The general rule of thumb for pruning fruit trees is to do it once the danger of winter damage has passed, but before trees have broken dormancy, sap begins to flow, and buds begin to plump. In Calgary, mid to late March is usually a good time to start pruning.
Annual pruning of fruit trees is important for several reasons:
- It shapes the tree and controls its size
- New growth and budding is stimulated by pruning
- Pruning new shoots removes excess wood and invigorates the tree
- Removing branches and opening up a tree allows sunlight and air to reach all of the branches and leaves
- Pruning prevents fruit from being caught between branches that are growing too close together
- Removing dead, damaged, or diseased branches keeps a tree healthier
Pruning a tree too severely can damage and weaken it, making it susceptible to disease and reducing the amount of fruit that it produces.
If you aren’t sure when you should start pruning your fruit trees, or you don’t want to tackle the job yourself, contact 5 Star Landscaping in Calgary today.