Nothing is more gratifying than learning how to do something yourself. I find many gardeners are a little apprehensive to take pruners to their fruit trees and small fruits but this is a skill you can learn to do on your own and USU Extension is here to help you! Check out these great 3 minute videos on pruning pome fruits, stone fruits, grapes and raspberries and then go out a practice your new skill because now is the time of year to do it – You Go Gardener Extraordinaire!
Apples and Pears – Pome Fruits – Modified Central Leader
- 3-4 main scaffolds starting at knee and ending at waist “whorled” around trunk (with some vertical distance between scaffold heights).
- 2-3 feet between 2nd set of 3-4 main scaffolds.
- Remove central leader (control height of tree).
- Identify and keep fruiting spurs – produced on 2-4 year old wood.
- Remove branches that provide shade to interior of tree (good sun exposure to fruiting spurs).
Peaches, Apricots and Nectarines – Stone Fruit – Open Vase Center
- 3-4 main scaffolds starting at knee and ending at waist whorled around trunk.
- Select scaffolds that form vase-like shape (with some vertical distance between scaffold heights).
- Identify fruiting wood (orange in color and year old branches).
- Prune up to 50% of fruiting wood; head back remaining fruiting wood branches by 1/3rd to increase strength of fruit-bearing branches.
Grapes – 4 Cane System
- Trellis to hold up vines – fruit grows on year old canes (chain link fences are not appropriate support structures).
- Find 4 good canes – mark cane at trunk and 15 buds away from trunk.
- Choose an additional cane close to the trellis and prune back to 2-3 buds from trunk – renewal spurs (next year’s growth).
- Remove all other cane growth; up to 90% of vine.
Raspberries – June Bearing and Ever-bearing (Fall Bearing)
- Above ground canes are biennial – die after 2 years.
- June Bearing Raspberries – fruit on year old wood – keep these and select for canes with diameter of pencil; prune out canes after growing season that already fruited.
- Ever-bearing/Fall Bearing Raspberries – fruit first year in fall (tip), second fruit following spring (bottom portion). Prune out canes once done fruiting.