If you have fruit trees on your land, you want to do all that you can to keep them healthy and strong. After all, healthy and strong trees produce more fruit and better fruit. One secret to maintaining healthy fruit trees is always pruning them in late winter. Here are a few tips to help you do an effective job with your pruning.

Aim for a goblet shape.

When pruning any fruit tree, your goal should be to create a goblet-like shape. In other words, you want the branches to sweep upward, with the outer branches creating a cup. Most fruit trees grow in this shape naturally to some degree, but pruning away the right branches helps maintain this shape as the trees keep growing. There are two main reasons why you want your fruit tree to have a goblet shape. First, this is a very sturdy shape for the tree; it makes it easy for the tree to support the weight of plenty of fruit. Second, the goblet shape ensures more of the fruit and leaves receive plenty of sunlight, which helps the whole tree grow strong and healthy.

Wait for a dry day.

One reason why winter pruning is so important is that in the winter, there is less moisture in the air. Moisture is the number one enemy of pruning. If the newly cut ends of your branches become too wet, the tree could contract a fungal infection. This is much less of a concern in winter in general, but if you do happen to have a warm, wet day mid-winter, this is not the day to prune your tree. Wait until it cools off and dries out again.

Don't dead-end your branches.

When you prune, you want to remove entire branches. Do not just clip off the ends. If one branch is crossing another, seems to be weak, or looks like it may be dead or diseased, remove that whole branch by snipping it about 1/4-1/2 inch from the trunk. This leaves behind the little bit of vascular tissue that unites the branch with the trunk. Cutting off half a branch always makes for an unhealthy, unstable branch.

Whether you have apple, pear, cherry, plum, or peach trees, you should prune them in late winter to encourage greater health and better fruit production. If you prune every year, you won't have to remove too many branches at once

Contact a tree trimming company to learn more.