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When and How to Prune Fruit Trees in Klamath Falls

Welcome to our tree care blog! Today, we're going to talk about pruning fruit trees. Pruning fruit trees is an important task for anyone looking to maximize their yield and improve the overall health of their trees.


Pruning fruit trees is done to get rid of any dead, diseased, or damaged wood and to shape and train the tree so it grows and makes more fruit. By pruning your fruit trees, you also improve the flow of air, let in more sunlight, and make it less likely that pests and diseases will attack them.


Pruning is necessary for stronger, healthier trees that produce an abundance of delicious fruit. So, continue reading to find out all about when and how to prune your fruit trees here in the Klamath Falls area!





Get the Job Done: Tools for Tree Trimming


Gather these tools before you begin pruning:


  1. Pruning Shears: These are the most basic tool you'll need to prune your fruit trees. Make sure your pruning shears are comfortable in your hand and are sharpened.

  2. Loppers: These are larger pruning shears that are designed for cutting thicker branches.

  3. Pruning Saw: A pruning saw has a curved blade and is used to cut branches that are too large for loppers or pruning shears.

  4. Pole Pruner: This long-handled tool allows you to reach high branches without using a ladder, which can be dangerous.

  5. Hand Pruner: A hand pruner is a small tool that can be used for cutting small branches and shaping your tree.

  6. Gloves: These are needed to protect your hands from cuts, scratches, and dirt.

  7. Safety Glasses: Make sure to wear them to protect your eyes from flying debris.

  8. Chalk or Marking Paint: Use this to mark branches that you want to remove.

  9. Rope: You need a rope to tie off branches before removing them so that they fall in a controlled manner.

  10. Optional Tools: A handsaw and a 3-legged ladder, and supplies to clean and sharpen your tools.

6 Reasons to Hire a Professional for Fruit Tree Care:


Pruning fruit trees is a challenging task that requires specific knowledge and skills. Here are some things to consider before pruning your fruit tree yourself:


  1. Lack of Knowledge: Many people don’t have the proper knowledge or experience for fruit tree pruning. Improper pruning practices harm both trees and people.

  2. Safety Risks: Fruit tree pruning is dangerous, especially when you are working with large or tall trees. Without the proper equipment and experience, you put yourself at risk of injury. It is not safe to stand on a ladder and prune trees.

  3. Tree Damage: Improper trimming harms trees, reducing growth and fruit production. Examples of this are cutting the tree too severely, leaving stubs, or removing too much of the tree's canopy.

  4. Disease and Pests: Many people are unable to identify and treat any diseases or pests that may be affecting your fruit tree.

  5. Time: Pruning a fruit tree requires a good amount of time and energy. It takes longer than expected when one is unfamiliar with the procedure.

  6. Cost: If mistakes are made when pruning, it can be costly to fix them. Some mistakes are irreversible.




Hiring a professional tree service is a safer and more efficient way to prune your fruit tree. Basin Family Tree Care ensures your tree remains healthy and productive. We have the expertise and equipment to prune your fruit trees effectively and safely.


Pruning a fruit tree properly includes evaluating the tree’s health and structure, removing damaged and diseased wood, crossing branches, thinning out the tree’s crowded branches, and shaping the tree.


The amount of pruning needed depends on the age, size, and type of fruit tree it is. Young fruit trees need pruning to establish a strong structure. Mature fruit trees need pruning to maintain their shape and boost fruit production.


Remember to wear gloves, safety glasses, and use your pruning tools safely. Contact us for a free evaluation and answers to any questions you have about the health of your fruit trees.


Step by Step: The Proper Way to Prune Fruit Trees


Step 1: Assess the overall health and structure of the tree: Take note of any dead, diseased, or damaged wood. Also, take note of any crossing branches or branches that are growing too close to each other.


Step 2: Remove Dead, Diseased, and Damaged Wood: The first step in pruning a fruit tree is to remove any dead, diseased, or damaged wood. Dead wood prevents fruit production, and diseases and pests will spread to the rest of the tree.


Step 3: Remove Crossing Branches: Crossing branches cause problems with air circulation and sunlight penetration. Use your pruning shears or loppers to remove any branches that are overlapping.


Step 4: Thin Out Crowded Branches: Crowded branches prevent air circulation and sunlight penetration. Use your pruning shears or loppers to thin out crowded branches. Make sure to leave enough space between branches for good air circulation and light penetration.


Step 5: Trim other branches and suckers: Prune ¾ of sucker branches and prune all of the branches that grow inward or downward.


Step 6: Prune base branches: Use your pruning shears or loppers to remove any branches that are growing too close to the ground.


Step 7: Shape the tree: Finish by shaping the tree to encourage air flow and sunlight while keeping the tree’s natural shape and growth pattern in mind.


Step 6: Clean and maintain your tools: After pruning, it's critical to clean and maintain your tools so they’re ready for next time.


7 Benefits of Hiring Basin Family Tree Care to Trim Your Fruit Trees


1. Expertise: Paul has 15+ years’ experience in the tree service industry. He and his team have the knowledge and skills to prune your fruit trees. We understand the specific pruning needs of different types of fruit trees and ensure your trees are pruned correctly to promote healthy growth and fruit output.


2. Safety: Pruning fruit trees is dangerous, especially when working with large or tall trees. Basin Family Tree Care has the expertise and equipment to safely prune your trees. We are committed to customer satisfaction as well as preventing property damage while we operate.


3. Efficiency: Basin Family Tree Care has the tools and equipment needed to complete the job quickly and efficiently. We remove any debris, branches, and leaves after pruning, saving you time and energy.


4. Disease and Pest Control: As a tree care professional, Paul understands how to identify and treat any diseases or pests that may be affecting your fruit trees.


5. Tree Health: With our free assessment, Basin Family Tree Care finds any problems that are hurting the health of your fruit tree and has solutions to fix them.


6. Fruit production: You may expect more fruit from your tree if we prune it, since we shape your tree to train it for the best growth.


7. Cost-effective: While it might seem cheaper to prune your fruit trees yourself, hiring Basin Family Tree Care saves you money in the long run. Our tree care service protects your property, avoids costly mistakes, and keeps your trees healthy and productive.


Overall, hiring Basin Family Tree Care to trim your fruit trees is an investment in your property’s health, safety, and beauty.






When to Prune Fruit Trees in Klamath Falls:


Fruit trees should be pruned in late winter or early spring. It is important to prune fruit trees before the tree begins to grow new leaves. For example, apple and other deciduous fruit trees should be pruned before the buds start to expand but after the risk of severe frost has gone.


Trees also produce less sap, so they don’t “bleed” as much from pruning cuts in the dormant season of winter.


Because there are no leaves on the tree while it is dormant, assessing the health of your fruit tree in winter is easier. You can see the branches that need to be removed as well as any structural problems with your tree.


Pruning at the right time promotes healthy growth and fruit production, while pruning at the wrong time can cause damage to the tree.


Feel free to give us a call at (541) 851-9080 if you are wondering if your fruit tree needs trimming.


Can You Prune Fruit Trees in the Fall?


It is not recommended to prune any species of fruit trees in the early fall. Pruning fruit trees in the fall encourages new growth before cold weather arrives, leaving the trees vulnerable to winter damage. It is better to wait until the end of fall after all fruit production has stopped and all the leaves have fallen from the tree.


When fruit trees are preparing for winter hibernation, they lack the energy to mend any pruning cuts. These wounds then expose the tree to diseases and pests.


Because of our weather here in the Klamath Falls area, deciding the best time for pruning fruit trees can be tricky.


Sometimes fruit trees in Klamath Falls can be trimmed, but Bonanza has a different microclimate. Bonanza fruit trees may require pruning at a different time than Klamath Falls fruit trees.


We are happy to come out to your location and help you decide what is best for your fruit tree.


How Much and How Often Should I Prune My Fruit Trees?


Fruit trees should be pruned each year to remove about 25-30% of the previous year's growth. This helps the tree’s health and the quality of its fruit. This also keeps the fruit tree at a manageable size and easier to harvest the fruit.


The amount a fruit tree should be pruned each year is determined by the tree’s age, size, and type. When it comes to pruning fruit trees, the strategy for young trees is different from that for older trees.


Young fruit trees that are less than 3 years old should be trimmed to develop a strong structure and encourage growth. Pruning a young fruit tree may involve removing the central leader (the main trunk that grows up through the center) to create a strong structure for the lateral branches.


When pruning young fruit trees, it is important to make clean cuts just above a bud or a node to encourage new growth. In the first few years of a fruit tree’s life, more pruning is usually required. As the tree matures, less pruning is needed.



Tips for Pruning Young Fruit Trees:


  • The goal of pruning young fruit trees is to establish a strong structure and promote growth.

  • Identify the fruit tree’s central leader and cut any competing branches that are growing from the tree’s base.

  • Choose five healthy, well-spaced branches to serve as the tree’s scaffolding branches. They should be equally spaced and allow room for growth.

  • Prune crossing and competing branches, as well as any inward-growing branches.

  • Cut the other branches about 6-8 inches away from the scaffolding branches.

  • Remove the non-fruit-producing branches that are growing straight up or at an angle.

  • Remove any small branches or twigs growing from the base of the tree.



Pruning mature fruit trees is done to preserve the tree’s shape and to encourage fruit output. Mature fruit trees should be pruned annually, but the amount of pruning varies depending on the type of fruit tree. For example, apple trees require more pruning than peach trees.


It's important to remember that different varieties of fruit trees have different pruning needs. Make sure to learn about the specific pruning requirements of the fruit tree you are caring for.


Don’t hesitate to call us at (541) 851-9080 for a free estimate and to find out more about what is best for your fruit trees.



Read about the benefits of pruning your trees in winter here

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