Does Your Yard Have a Landscaping Theme?

3 Methods for Trimming Your Fruit or Nut Tree

by Dan Mckinney

Fruit and nut trees are a great addition to your yard. Not only are they attractive, but they will provide you with fresh food throughout their season. Just like any trees, fruit and nut trees require regular trimming. In fact, regular trimming will increase the bounty of food they produce.

Your tree trimmers will probably choose between the three following methods to keep your fruit and nut trees bountiful.

1. Open-Center System

As the name suggests, the open-center system is one that aims to open up the central part of your tree. The goal is to increase the amount of light that reaches across all the branches. Trimmers remove the top of the main trunk to eliminate the canopy cover, which lets the sunlight reach more branches that the canopy cover would have shaded.

Open-center trimming is ideal for stone fruit trees, so peach, nectarine, and apricot varieties. The fruits can get more sunlight to ripen as they grow. The branches that come out from the center can also grow stronger, which helps them support the weight of the stone fruits.

2. Natural Habitat System

The natural habitat system is more about letting nature take its course. With this system, the tree trimmers will work with the tree's natural growth pattern while eliminating dead or diseased branches. They'll also get rid of suckers and overgrowth so more sun can reach deeper in the tree. They may recommend thinning for overly dense trees.

Natural habitat trimming works best for citrus trees. You can also combine it with heading cuts for nut-bearing trees. The heading cut takes a branch down to the bud, which is ideal to stimulate growth of new buds, and so increase your nut haul.

3. Central-Leader System

The central-leader system is somewhere in between open-center and natural habitat in how much it changes the natural shape of the tree. With a central-leader trimming system, the tree care technicians thin out the side branches while keeping the single trunk and main branches intact. This system controls the density of the side branches so the fruit and nuts have access to sunlight.

The central-leader system is ideal for most kinds of fruits, especially apples and pears. Tree care specialists also recommend it for cherries and pecan trees. The trunk continues to provide the main stability of the tree while the side branches grow stronger to support the fruit and nuts.

Talk to companies like Treetime Inc to learn which system of pruning will work best for your fruit and nut trees.