Spring Garden Tips
Pruning Fruit Trees

Increase your harvest with proper pruning.

JavaScript is disabled!
To display this content, you need a JavaScript capable browser.

Pruning Fruit TreesLate winter or early spring before growth begins is a great time to prune fruit trees. As growth begins in spring the wounds will close quickly, reducing the risk of disease and insects moving in through pruning cuts.

Prune to establish a strong framework on young trees or maintain the framework on established trees.

Start by removing any crossing, damaged or parallel branches on established trees. Prune out water sprouts - those branches that grow straight to the sky - and suckers at the base of the tree.

Make cuts flush with the branch bark collar, the swollen area at the base of the branch, where a branch joins another branch or above a healthy bud.

Leave the basic framework intact and remove no more than one fourth of the crown. Heavy pruning will encourage excess growth and that will mean more work for you next season.

A bit more information: Apples, pears, plums and many other fruit trees are often pruned in a central leader or modified central technique. A properly pruned central leader tree will look like a Christmas tree. With a modified central leader the side branches are about the same size as the central leader (trunk).

Share
 

Related Garden Moments for Radio

A Multi-Season Beauty - The Fringetree

Add seasonal interest and bird appeal to your landscape with the white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus).

Read more...

Add Pockets of Color in your Landscape

Now is a great time to plan for added color in your landscape.

Listen to Add Color to your Landscape...

Apple Tree Fails to Produce

No fruit and all leaves is a common complaint of gardeners new to growing apples. Fortunately, with a little time and adjustments in care you will soon be rewarded with fruit.

Read more...

Apples - National Apple Month - Scary Apple Heads for Halloween

Celebrate National Apple month and prepare for Halloween by creating a few scary apple heads.

Listen to National Apple Month...

Blueberries - National Blueberry Month

Celebrate National Blueberry month this July by planting a few of these ornamental and edible plants in your landscape.

Listen to ... Blueberries National Blueberry Month

Cankers (Sunken Discolored Areas) on Trees

The answer to your tree problem may lie just below the surface, of the bark that is.

Read more...

Caring for Bare Root Plants

You decided to save money or perhaps try something new and ordered bare root plants from a catalog or through the internet. Now you are wondering what to do with them once they arrive.

Listen to Caring for Plants...

Caring for Bare-Root Plants

So what do you do when those bare root perennials, shrubs, roses, or fruit plants you ordered arrive before you and your garden are ready or the weather is suitable for planting? Don’t despair you can preserve your investment with minimal effort.

Listen to Bare Root Plants...

Caring for Tender Annuals Wintering Indoors

Turn your attention indoors and give those tender annuals overwintering a bit of TLC.

Listen to Caring for Tender Annuals Wintering Indoors...

Celebrate Arbor Day

Celebrate Arbor Day by planting new trees or caring for your established ones in your landscape and community.

Listen to Celebrate Arbor Day...

Celebrate National Apple Month

Celebrate National Apple Month with a trip to the farmers market or nearby orchard to purchase or pick-your-own favorite apples.

Listen to... National Apple Month

Columbine Leafminer

White serpentine trails in the leaves of columbine are a sure sign columbine leaf miners are feeding in your plants.

"Listen to ... Columbine Leafminer

Controlling Tent Caterpillars and Gypsy Moths in Winter

Start this year’s garden pest control with a stroll through the landscape.

Listen to Controlling Moths and Catepillars...

Create a Tool Cleaning Station

Make a resolution to keep your tools clean and ready for use by creating a tool cleaning station in your shed or garage.

Listen to.. Create a Tool...

Create Planting Beds to Save Time and Your Trees

Reduce maintenance and improve your plants’ health by creating large planting beds around trees and shrubs.

Listen to Creating Planting Beds...

Dealing with Surface Roots

Avoid dulling your mower blades and more importantly damaging your trees by creatively dealing with the surface roots.

Listen to Dealing with Surface Roots...

DIY Tree Watering Device

Be sure to keep your most expensive living landscape investment thriving for years to come. Properly water and mulch your trees for their health and longevity.

Listen to DIY Tree Watering Device...

Don't Move Firewood

Cooler air and the crackle of burning wood mean fall for many. But don’t destroy the forest by moving firewood. Instead use wood from local sources.

Listen to Don't Move Firewood...

Don't Top That Tree

Stop – don’t top that tree. Instead, make sure it is properly pruned for years of health, beauty, and enjoyment in your landscape.

Listen to Pruning Trees...

Drought Care for Trees

Don’t forget the trees, even old established ones, when extended dry periods and droughts move in.

Listen to Drought Care for Trees...

Eco-friendly Control of Fungus Gnats

Don’t worry if you notice small fruit fly-like insects flitting across the room. It is not a sign of bad housekeeping nor are they harmful to your plants.

Listen to Eco-friendly Control for fungus Gnats...

Elderberry: International Herb of the Year

Hardy, edible and the 2013 International Herb of the Year make elderberry a great plant for any size landscape or even container gardens.

Listen to ... Elderberry...

Fall Color: How Leaves Change Color in Fall

The brilliant fall color in our landscapes is a magical transformation that happens each year. And the science behind it all is just as intriguing.

Listen to How leaves change color...

Fall Webworm

Webby tents can often be seen on the tips of tree branches in fall. Apples, willows, birch, and ash are just a few of the more than 100 species that can be infested. These webby tents are the home to the fall webworm.

Listen to ... Fall Webworm

Fireblight

On your next winter walk, check apples, pears, quince and other members of the rose family for signs of fireblight disease.

Listen to Fireblight...

Garden Your Way to Better Health

Have you committed to improving your health this year? I have good news – you can do this while planting, maintaining and harvesting homegrown nutritious food and beautiful flowers.

Listen to Garden Your Way to Better Health...

Gather Ideas and Fresh Produce from the Farmers Market

Didn’t get that garden planted this year? Or maybe you didn’t plant enough for your families needs. Don’t worry, you can still have fresh from the garden flavor and be kind to the environment.

Listen to Produce and Ideas from the Farmers Market...

Give 'em a Pinch - Pruning Flowers

Replace your plant stakes with pruners to keep some of your floppy flowers full of blooms and standing tall.

Listen to Pruning Flowers...

Golden Canker on Pagoda Dogwood

Don’t let hot dry summers damage or even kill your Pagoda dogwood. Proper care and a bit of pruning can keep them healthy.

Listen to Canker on Pagoda Dogwood...

Grow a Bountiful Harvest All Season Long

Boost your garden’s productivity and harvest garden-fresh vegetables all season long.

Listen to Growing a Bountiful Harvest...

Grow a Nutritious Garden in a Pot

Add a bit of nutrition to your diet and landscape. Grow a container full of nutritious vegetables for your patio, deck or balcony.

Listen to Garden Moment..

Grow Your Own and Save

Reduce your grocery bill this summer by growing a few of your favorite vegetables. And the good news, you don’t need much space to produce enough fresh vegetables for you and your family to enjoy.

Listen to Grow a Vegetable Garden...

Grow Your Own Fat-free and Flavorful Apples

Apples are the perfect fat free fruit for your diet and garden. Plant just a couple trees or a small orchard so you can harvest an apple-a-day right from your own backyard.

Listen to Grow Your Own Fat-Free Apples...

Grow Your Own Favorite Recipe

Picture this - Your guest reaches over and plucks a sprig of mint from a planter to add to their iced tea or Mojito. Nothing beats the fresh-from-the-garden flavor or fun of ingredients right from your own garden.

Listen to Grow a Recipe...

Grow Your Own Pickles & Celebrate National Pickle Week

Celebrate National Pickle Week by growing a few of your own cucumbers for pickling.

Llisten to Grow Your Own...

Growing Apples

Apples are the perfect fat-free fruit for your diet and garden. Plant just a couple trees or a small orchard so you can harvest an apple-a-day right from your own backyard.

Listen to Growing Apples...

Growing New Plants From Kitchen Scraps

Don’t throw those peach pits, avocado and grapefruits seeds into the compost pile. Have a little family fun and try growing these into a memory.

Listen to Growing New Plants from Kitchen Scraps...

Growing Your Own Healthy Snack

Grow a few healthy snacks for you and your family to enjoy. Carrots have the crunch of chips and crackers without the fat and calories.

Listen to Growing Healthy Snacks...

Harvest and Care of Fall Raspberries

Sweeten those fall days with a handful of fresh raspberries. And maximize the flavor and bounty with proper harvesting and care.

Listne to Harvest and Care of Raspberries...

Harvest Tomatoes for the Best Flavor

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes. And, proper harvesting will insure the best flavor.

Listen to Harvest Tomatoes...

Harvesting and Preserving the Flavor and Nutrients of Root Crops

It’s time to start reaping the benefits of your spring plantings. So break out the garden fork and get busy harvesting.

Listen to Harvesting vegetables...

Harvesting and Storing Grapes

Growing your own grapes for jam, jelly, and of course wine can be fun. Get the most flavor and productivity with proper harvesting and a bit of bird protection.

Listen to harvesting and storing grapes...

Harvesting and Storing Pumpkins

Fall is here and that means its time to harvest and select the perfect pumpkin for your garden or Halloween display.

Listen to Harvesting Pumpkins...

Harvesting Flowers for Drying

Enjoy your garden’s beauty year round. Harvest and dry a few flowers to use in flower arrangements, craft project or as gifts for friends and family.

Listen to Drying Flowers...

Harvesting Garlic

Get the best flavor and longest storage life from your homegrown garlic with proper harvesting and curing.

Listen to Harvesting Garlic...

Harvesting Onions and Potatoes

Break out the garden fork and get ready to start harvesting onions and potatoes.

Listen to Harvesting Onions and Potatoes...

Harvesting Pickles and Cucumbers

Dills, sweet or slicers all start as cucumbers. It’s the timing at harvest that makes the difference.

Listen to Harvesting Cucumbers and pickles...

Harvesting Sunflowers

Sunflowers are a favorite for kids of all ages. Not only are they fun to grow, they’re also great to eat – that is - if you can beat the birds and squirrels to the seeds.

Listen to Harvesting Sunflowers...

Harvesting Vegetables and Melons

All your hard work and effort is paying off with a bountiful harvest.

Listen to Harvesting Vegetables...

Harvesting, Using and Preserving Herbs

Spice up your cooking with fresh-from-the-garden herbs.

Listen to Harvesting Herbs...

Hollyhock Leaves Riddled with Holes and Spots

An old fashioned favorite, hollyhock, is easy to grow, but the leaves are often riddled with orange spots and holes.

Listen to Hollyhock Leaves Riddled with Holes and Spots...

Homegrown Vegetables Add Flavor to Gluten Free Diets

Don’t let going gluten-free get you down. Include some fresh-from-the-garden vegetables to add flavor to your gluten-free meals.

Listen to Homegrown Vegetables Add Flavor to Gluten Free Diet...

Landscape for Fall Color

Mums are the traditional fall flower – but don’t stop there. You can find plenty of plants to add to your landscape’s fall display.

Listen to Fall Perennial Garden...

Lettuce, Kale, and Collards - Harvest Tips for Maximum Flavor and Nutrition

Get the most flavor and nutritional value from your garden-fresh vegetables with proper harvesting, storage and preparation.

Listen to Garden Vegetables...

Light Up the Landscape with Holiday Lights

So you decided to brighten the winter landscape with a few lights.

Listen to Winter Landscape...

Limbing Up (pruning lower branches) Trees

Put away the saw and enjoy the beauty of your mature evergreen.

Listen to Limbing Up (pruning lower branches) Trees...

Lime Tree, Birth Tree for March 11-20

If you were born between March 11th and 20th your birth tree is the Lime tree. You are said to be intelligent, hard working, hate fights and stress and can be jealous, but extremely loyal.

Read more...

Managing Plants the Outgrew their Space

So, that small tree or shrub outgrew the ideal space where it was planted. Now what? It's time to decide whether to prune, move or sacrifice the plant and start over with something more suitable.

Listen to ... Managing Plants...

Monitor and Adjust Tree Care

Improve the health and longevity of your trees and shrubs with a bit of preventative care.

Listen to Tree Care...

Narrow (Columnar) Trees for Any Size Landscape

Don’t let a lack of space keep you from growing trees in your landscape. Consider planting columnar trees in containers and narrow spaces.

Listen to Narrow Trees for any Landscape...

National Acorn Squash Day

Roast it, bake it, or cook it into soup. However you like it, include some acorn squash in one of your meals.

Listen to ... National Acorn Squash Day

National Bird Day - Time to Plan a Bird Garden

Bird watching and gardening go hand in hand. Celebrate National Bird Day, January 5th, by taking a moment to stop and observe the birds visiting your garden.

Listen to... National Bird Day

National Pear Month

You purchase a beautiful pear, set it on the counter to ripen and a few days later take a bite. Seems it is either too hard or over ripe. In fact, 84% of people surveyed did not know how to tell when a pear was ripe.

Listen to National Pear Month...

New Herb Plants from Old

Bring a bit of flavor indoors for fall and winter. Take cuttings of your favorite herbs to create a windowsill garden.

Listen to ... New Herb Plants...

New Year's Resolution Garden

The holidays are filled with lots of delicious foods and sweets. But now is the time to resolve to grow your own vegetables and eat healthier in the New Year.

Listen to New Year's Resolution Garden...

No Fruit on Holly - December's Other Birth Flower

Holly is a popular plant in holiday displays, one of the birth flowers for December and a favorite evergreen in the landscape.

Listen to... No Fruit on Holly

November 12 -21 Birth Tree: The Chestnut

If you were born between November 12th and the 21st, your birth tree is the Chestnut.

Listen to...November 12 -21 Birth Tree: The Chestnut

Ornamental and Edible Fruits

You don’t need to sacrifice beauty to grow a few edibles in your landscape. Many ornamental plants grown for their beauty also produce edible fruit.

Listen to ornamental and Edible Fruits...

Ornamental Edible Landscape - Fruit Plants

Round out your meals with some fresh from the garden fruit. It is easier than you think to grow your own apples, plums, and berries.

Listen to Edible Landscape...

Outdoor Vegetable Cleaning Station

Don’t let your garden soil end up in the kitchen. Instead create a produce cleaning station outside near the garden.

Read more...

Overwintering Container Planters

Trees, shrubs and perennials are great for container gardens. But as winter approaches we need to provide a bit of care to help them through the winter.

Listen to Winterizing Container Planters...

Picking Apples & Pears

Whether you grew them yourself or visited a Pick-Your–Own farm, get the best flavor from your apples, pears and plums by harvesting them at the right time.

Listen to Picking Apples and Pears...

Plant a Tree for Arbor Day

One of the biggest plant investments you make for your landscape is your trees. Help insure their longevity by planting them right.

Start with a call to 811 at least three days before digging in. This free service will mark the location of all underground wires. This one call can save you money and even your life.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Plant and Grow a Sound Barrier

Tired of hearing the drone of passing traffic? I have a beautiful and effective solution. Plant a sound barrier of shrubs, trees and evergreens.

Read more...

Planting a Garden...Double Up for a Bigger Harvest

Double your harvest without increasing your garden space. Try planting short season vegetables like lettuce, radishes and beets between long season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, okra, cabbage, and broccoli. When the short season veggies are ready to harvest, the longer season larger vegetables will need the space.

Listne to Planting a Garden...

Planting Garlic

Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, fight heart disease, boost your immune system, and add a bit of flavor to your meals by growing your own garlic.

Listen to Planting Garlic...

Poor Fruiting on Cucumber, Squash and Other Vine Crops

Your plants look great, loaded with healthy leaves and flowers, but there is still no fruit. This is a common complaint I hear from gardeners growing squash, cucumbers and other vine crops.

Listen to Poor Fruiting on Vine Crops...

Preserving and Sharing Your Harvest

Are you like me and always squeeze in that extra tomato plant, another row of beans or that one left over pepper plant? It seemed like a good idea at the time. But now you have more produce than you need.

Listen to Preserving your Vegetable Harvest...

Preserving the Asparagus Harvest

Preserve the flavor and nutrition of asparagus to enjoy year round.

Listen to Preserving the Asparagus Harvest...

Pruning and Training Systems for Grapes

Sharpen those pruners because late winter through early spring is the time to prune and train grapes.

Listen to Pruning and Training Systems for Grapes...

Pruning Clematis

Keep your clematis down to size, looking good and flowering with proper pruning.

Listen to Pruning Clematis...

Pruning Currants and Gooseberries

Many gardeners are growing their own fruits and vegetables, including some traditional favorites like currants and gooseberries. Proper pruning will keep these plants looking good and productive.

Listen to Pruning Currants and Gooseberries...

Pruning Evergreens

You can tame overgrown evergreens blocking your views or creeping over walks with a bit of pruning. And get the best results for your effort with proper timing and the right pruning strategies.

Listen to Pruning Evergreens...

Pruning Grapes

Tame overgrown grape plants down to a manageable and more productive size.

Listen to Pruning Grapes...

Pruning Potentilla, Spireas and Other Summer Blooming Shrubs

Tame those floppy potentilla and spirea and bring other overgrown summer flowering shrubs down to size in late winter through early spring.

Listen to Pruning Shrubs...

Pruning Raspberries

Prune raspberries in winter to increase your harvest and reduce pest problems.

Listen to Pruning Raspberries...

Pruning Spring Flowering Shrubs

Late spring is the time to bring overgrown lilacs, forsythia and other spring blooming shrubs down to size.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Pruning Trees: Large Branches

Late winter after the coldest weather has passed through early spring before growth begins is a great time to prune trees. Make proper cuts to insure the health and longevity of your plants.

Listen to Pruning Trees...

Pruning Young Trees

Winter is often the time we break out the pruners and start shaping trees and shrubs. Before making that first cut, be sure you are pruning with a purpose in mind.

Listen to Pruning Young Trees...

Quick and Easy Fall/Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Get the family involved and look for fun, quick and easy ideas for decorating your Thanksgiving or fall dinner table.

Listen to Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece...

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Don’t drag that Christmas tree to the curb. Give it a second life in your landscape.

Cut trees make great windbreaks in the landscape. Strategically place discarded Christmas trees on the windward side of rhododendron, boxwood and other broadleaf evergreens to reduce problems with winter burn.

Listen to Recycle your Christmas tree...

Redbud Tree a Four Season Beauty

Beautiful reddish purple buds line the branches and trunks of the picturesque redbud tree. As the temperatures warm the buds burst into rosy pink or magenta blooms. And this is just the beginning of this tree’s beauty.

Listen to Redbud Tree...

Rhubarb

Grow the main ingredient for a classic, delicious, and family favorite – rhubarb pie.

Listen to growing Rhubarb...

Saving Heirloom Tomato Seeds

Be a part of history and save money when planting next year’s garden. Collect and save the seeds from your favorite heirloom tomatoes this fall.

Listen to Saving Tomato Seeds...

Sifting Through Garden Catalogs

Your mailbox and dining room table are overflowing with catalogs filled with pictures of beautiful flowers and scrumptious vegetables. With so many choices it can be a bit overwhelming – I can help.

Listen to Sifting through Garden Catalogs...

Speed Up Your Tomato Harvest

Be the first in your neighborhood to harvest a red ripe tomato from your garden this summer.

Listen to Growing Tomatoes...

Starting Plants from Kitchen Discards - Seeds

Keep your green thumbs busy starting new plants from kitchen scraps.

Listen to Starting Plants from Kitchen Discards - Seeds...

Still Time to Plant Vegetables - Late Additions to the Garden

Don’t let the calendar stop you from gardening. There is still time to plant vegetables for you and your family to enjoy.

Listen to Vegetable Gardening...

Stop Topping Trees

Topping trees is bad for the look and health of your trees and landscape. Plus, it increases maintenance and the risk of tree failure.

Listen to ... Stop Topping Trees

Storing and Preserving Herbs

Preserve the flavor and zest of herbs with proper storage and preservation.

Listen to Storing and Preserving Herbs...

Strawberries for Any Landscape

Anyone can grow fresh strawberries for their cereal in the morning or to enjoy with a glass of wine at night.

Listen to Strawberries for any Landscape...

Strawberries for Every Space Garden

Add a bit of nutrition and beauty to your patio, deck, or balcony with a pot of strawberries. It’s a great way to keep a nutritional snack close at hand.

Listen to Strawberries in Garden Spaces...

Summer Pruning of Raspberries

A bit of summer pruning goes a long way to keeping your raspberries healthy and productive. So get out the mosquito netting, long sleeves and pruners and get busy.

Listen to Pruning Raspberries...

Take a Pass on the Tree Trunk Wrap

Skip the tree trunk wrap when planting and caring for your trees.

Listen to...Take a Pass on the Tree Trunk Wrap

The Apple: December 23rd to January 1st Birth Tree

If you were born between December 23rd and January 1st your birth tree is the apple. It is said to represent scientific talents, charm and a carefree philosopher with imagination.

Listen to... The Apple

The Edible and Ornamental Chokeberry (Aronia)

Though chokeberry is not an appetizing name, this four season beauty is making a big impact in edible and ornamental gardens.

Read more...

The Last of the Tomatoes

Fall has many of us scrambling to protect plants from frost, move tropicals indoors or finish harvesting our vegetables. Be sure you collect a few green tomatoes to ripen indoors.

Listen to harvesting tomatoes...

Think Twice Before Staking Newly Planted Trees

Break out the shovel and get busy planting. Fall is a great time to plant trees. The soil is warm and the air is cool, reducing transplant shock.

Listen to... "Think Twice..."

Tomato Troubles

You waited all season for that first red ripe tomato only to discover less-than-perfect fruit. But don’t worry, you can still have a great harvest and improve things for next season.

Listen to Tomato Troubles...

Tree and Shrub Growth Rates

Now is a great time to plan for additions to your landscape. And as you scour the catalogs and read plant tags you will often see trees rated as fast, medium or slow growers.

Read more...

Tree Problems

Cracks in tree trunks, stunted leaf growth and thin canopies are all signs your tree is struggling. Diagnosing the cause of the symptoms is the first step in improving your tree’s health.

Listen to... Tree Problems

Trees and Shrubs for the Winter Landscape

Walk off some of those holiday calories and gather ideas for your garden. Look for trees and shrubs that provide interesting form, bark and texture in the winter.

Listen to Trees and Shrubs...

Unshearing Sheared Evergreens

Tired of constant pruning or need a change from those green gumdrops, hockey pucks and meatballs? With a bit of time and patience you can convert these back to their natural beauty.

Listen to Sheared Evergreens...

Value of Trees

Plant a tree and improve your mood, save money and improve the environment.

Listen to Value of Trees...

Verticillium Wilt

Sudden wilting and death of individual branches of maples, redbuds and other susceptible trees may mean verticillium wilt has infected the plant.

Read more...

Vines and Groundcovers for Fall Interest

Add a bit of color and fragrance to your fall garden with groundcovers and vines.

Listen to Vines and Groundcovers...

Walnut, Birth Tree for October 24 - November 11

If you were born between October 24th and November 11 your birth tree is the walnut. It represents intellect, passion and confidence.

Listen to...Walnut, Birth Tree for October 24 - November 11

Watch for and Prevent Borers on Trees and Shrubs

Extreme heat and cold, droughts and floods can leave our plants stressed and more susceptible to damaging borers.

Listen to Watch for and Prevent Borers on Trees and Shrubs...

Water Trees for their Health and Longevity

Save energy, care for new trees, and conserve water in one easy step.

Listen to Watering Trees for Health...

Watering Tips for New Trees

Save time, energy, and conserve water while caring for your new trees.

Listen to Watering Tips for New Trees...

Winter Care for Unplanted Trees, Shrubs and Perennials

Fall plant sales and all those tempting new varieties have many of us buying more plants than we have time or space to plant. Protect them over the winter and reduce your workload by heeling them in until you have time to find a permanent spot in your garden.

Read more...

Winter Container Gardens and Outdoor Arrangements

Add a bit of greenery to your front steps, window box or patio with a winter container.

Listen to Winter Container Gardens...