41.6 F
Muscatine
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
More

    Prune Fruit Trees with Care

    ISU Extension and Outreach
    ISU Extension and Outreach
    ISU Extension and Outreach reliable information about agriculture, 4H programs, food and nutrition, and family sciences. ISU Extension and Outreach has an office in Muscatine.

    Muscatine Living

    Chasing More Daylight

    Tuesday, September 22nd was the first official day of fall and with that comes less daylight into...

    When your town can ease your worries

    I headed off this morning to yet another pre-op appointment and after a couple handfuls of these...

    Daily Bread

    We live in one of the great breadbaskets of the world. We are all well aware that...

    By Richard Jauron—Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

    Pruning increases fruit size, promotes better color development, increases sugar content and decreases insect and disease problems by allowing better spray coverage and faster drying following rainfall.

    Fruit trees should be pruned to obtain good yields of high-quality fruit. There are three important aspects to pruning fruit trees, timing, frequency, and procedure. Horticulture specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach share information on how to prune fruit trees. To have additional questions answered, contact the Hortline at (515)-294-3108 or hortline @iastate.edu.

    When Should I Prune Fruit Trees?

    Late February to early April is the best time to prune fruit trees in Iowa. Summer pruning of fruit trees is generally not recommended. However, water sprouts (rapidly growing shoots that often develop just below a pruning cut) can be removed in June or July.

    They should also be pruned on a regular basis, and annual pruning of young (non-bearing) fruit trees develops a strong framework and a desirable shape. Annual pruning of bearing trees maintains tree vigor, maximizes fruit yields, and improves fruit quality. Young trees require light annual pruning. Bearing trees require light to moderate annual pruning. Insufficient pruning of bearing trees may result in small, poorly colored fruit with a low sugar content and mediocre flavor. Excessive pruning of bearing trees weakens trees and results in vigorous shoot growth with little or no flower bud formation, resulting in a poor crop the following year.

    How Do I Renovate a Neglected Tree?

    A large, neglected apple tree that hasn’t been pruned for several years is often densely branched, unproductive, and may contain a number of dead branches. Fruit produced on neglected trees is generally small, misshapen, poorly colored, and has a low sugar content. If properly pruned, large, neglected apple trees can produce good quality fruit. Pruning increases fruit size, promotes better color development, increases sugar content, and decreases insect and disease problems by allowing better spray coverage and faster drying following rainfall. Pruning also makes it easier to harvest the fruit. Complete renovation of neglected apple trees may take two or three years.

    The first step in the renovation of a neglected apple tree is to prune out all dead, diseased, and broken branches. Next, remove undesirable interior branches. Prune out the weakest of crossing limbs and closely growing parallel branches. Also, remove limbs growing toward the center of the tree, strongly growing upright branches, and water sprouts. (Water sprouts are rapidly growing, vegetative shoots that develop on larger branches or the tree trunk. They often form just below a pruning cut.) Prune off low-hanging branches. Finally, remove weak, spindly growth if additional thinning is necessary.


    For more information on pruning fruit trees, refer to the ISU Extension and Outreach publication Pruning and Training Fruit Trees.

    Latest News

    Two Test Iowa clinic sites open in Sioux County

    This content provided by the Office of the Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds as a press release. Two...

    Muscatine Fire Department ladders pass annual test

    MUSCATINE, Iowa – The aerial ladder truck and the ground ladders used by the Muscatine Fire Department (MFD) are required to be tested annually...

    Muscatine Police selected for ABLE program national rollout

    MUSCATINE, Iowa - The Muscatine Police Department has been accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project. The project is Georgetown University...

    Riverside Park restrooms to be temporarily closed

    MUSCATINE, Iowa – The public restrooms in Riverside Park near the playground at Pearl City Station will be closed starting Wednesday, Sept. 30, by the...

    Stanley Center commits gift to Racial Justice Fund

    MUSCATINE, Iowa--The Stanley Center for Peace and Security recently committed $15,000 to the Racial Justice Fund at the Community Foundation of Greater...

    More Articles Like This