The productivity and success of your fruit farm are pegged on skills coupled with determination. Among the skills you are required to have how to take care of the trees in your garden. Since many farmers lack the requisite skills, they end up with shaggy looking, and overgrown bushes with little produce to show. You can turn around the scene for your farm by effectively pruning your trees. Apply the following proven strategies used by master gardeners.
The initial step involves checking out for any wood that might be infected by diseases, damaged or dead and getting rid of it. Check the base of the trunk to identify any suckers that may be sprouting from the rootstock and cut them too. This is to ensure that the fruiting tree grafted get the rightful share of minerals without competition from the suckers. Water sprouts emanating from the main branches should also be removed. Since it is advisable to remove all water sprouts, you can use an orchard ladder to help you reach highly raised branches. Ensure that you do not leave any stubs by cutting the back flush with the correct pair of loppers.
After getting rid of unnecessary suckers and infected branches, the second step involves getting rid of the excess branches, commonly referred to as thinning out. By thinning out the trees, vulnerability to pests and diseases is significantly minimised through allowing light and air to flow into the canopy freely. Cut off branches growing towards one another, downwards and those growing towards the centre of the tree. Also, remove those growing close to one another from a single crotch retaining only the healthy branches. Ensure that you maintain evenly distributed airspaces of between 15 to 30 centimetres in between the branches. You can also shape the branches into attractive patterns that look pleasing. Remember to maintain the thinning cuts flush to the branch just as you did in the preceding step.
The third and final step aims at pruning the outermost growth of the tree. This will help the branches become robust and thicker in addition to making the tree look more attractive. It also activates the hormones in the tree hence increasing its fruitfulness. Prune off between 20 to 30 per cent of the growth accumulated over the previous year. For a fully grown tree, this would mean cutting the branch by 1.2 meters back from its tip. It is essential to prune each branch to half a centimetre from a bud facing in the direction you would want the branch to grow in the coming year. For instance, prune back the plant to a bud on the left side if another branch is present on the right side. Ensure that you use well sterilised and clean sharp shears while pruning each tree to avoid spreading infections. Also, dispose of the pruned wood from the under the tree.
The tips above are recommended by successful fruit farmers and gardeners around the world. It is also advisable to ensure that you prune your trees at least once every year for maximum yields.