Mast trees need care from time to time if they’re going to remain productive. If left unmaintained fruit trees can grow out of control and productivity will suffer. If maintained properly it’s amazing the tonnage a few fruit trees or several mature oaks can provide. Many people think that pruning is all about “cosmetics,” but when it comes to fruit trees, proper pruning is essential for the best yield and the winter months are the best time for making the cut.
This is more important for fruit trees than hard mast trees like oaks because of their growth style, but all trees will benefit from a proper pruning when necessary. The first step is to gain some control of the tree using these techniques in the video below. If the tree is severely overgrown, you don’t want to prune everything all at once. It can be a process that lasts for two to four years depending upon how far gone the tree is and how much work needs to be completed. Remove any suckers or branches that are crowded within the interior of the tree. These tips from eHow may also help. You want to open the tree for sunlight and air penetration.
Photo courtesy of Convism; video from eHow
This conservation tip courtesy of the Wildlife Obsession Newsletter.