Pruning Nectarine Trees: The How & When

Tree pruning is an important maintenance measure that keeps trees in proper growing conditions.

This article will be discussing how and when to prune nectarine trees. While discussing the ideal timing for such an important activity, we’ll also discuss the “how” of nectarine tree pruning.

Nectarine trees belong to the same family as peach trees. These are trees that require wind-sheltered locations with adequate sunlight to grow.

Pruning is one of the key tree maintenance actions to take. For pruning to have its desired effect, you’ll need to know when to perform it. This is part of what we’ll be focusing on.

When To Prune Nectarine Trees

There are several reasons for pruning nectarine trees. The goal is to help keep it in shape and improve its fruit-bearing capacity.

Also, pruning opens up the tree to sunlight, allowing for better penetration. However, the timing determines whether this action will be successful or not.

Unlike other trees that are pruned during dormant seasons like winter, nectarine trees are quite different. These trees should be pruned in late winter to early spring.

  • Off-Season Pruning

While it’s best to prune your nectarine tree between late winter to early spring, there are times when pruning becomes an immediate necessity. Such times may not be best to prune your trees but have to be done due to the situation at hand.

Such a situation might involve broken limbs and water sprouts. These require urgent treatment. In the case of broken limbs, you’ll need to treat your nectarine tree by pruning back to the ragged edges.

Here, the cut needs to be smooth with no short stump.

Pruning Nectarine Trees at the Wrong Time

There’s a wrong time for pruning a nectarine tree.

Performing this task anytime outside the recommended seasons will have a long-term impact on the tree’s health. Of course, this excludes trimming due to broken limbs caused by storms and other causes.

In such cases, you’re treating to prevent further problems to your nectarine trees.

How To Prune Nectarine Trees

When pruning your nectarine trees, it should follow a pattern that allows for enhanced growth.

About 3 to 5 main scaffolds limbs should be maintained during pruning. Scaffold limbs arising from the trunk should be considered and maintained to maintain a certain shape.

The limbs of nectarine trees shouldn’t be allowed to point in the same direction. Being spread evenly allows for balanced growth. Cut off any middle branches that remain above the primary scaffold including those below the scaffold branches.

Another tip to follow when pruning your nectarine tree is to remove or cut off growths within 6” of the tree trunk.

Make sure to remove all branches growing under the scaffold branches. While doing this, caution should be exercised to avoid cutting the main scaffold branches.

Pruning tools must be disinfected. Whether you’re using loppers or pruning saws, you’ll need to prepare a cleaning solution consisting of 10% bleach. In other words, you’ll need to mix about 1 part bleach with 9 parts of water. All cutting or pruning tools must be cleaned between cuts.

Cleaning tree cutting tools between cuts is highly essential when dealing with infected or diseased nectarine trees. Apart from improper growth, pruning also serves to remove diseased and dead branches.

Here, such branches will need to be cut back to the main trunk.

The most active periods for trimming or pruning a nectarine tree covers a three year period after which lesser trimming follows. This is meant to create the perfect shape and enhance tree growth or development.

During this time, about one-third of the tree will have to be removed yearly. Also, about half of the growth from the previous year will need to be removed.

Benefits Of Pruning Your Nectarine Trees

Knowing when and how to prune your nectarine trees offers a whole lot of benefits. These range from access to sunlight, growth control, improving the tree’s health, and enhancing safety.

Other benefits of nectarine tree pruning include the promotion of fruit production and increasing your property’s value.

Let’s discuss each of these points without delay;

  • Access to Sunlight

Like all other trees and plants, nectarine trees need a sufficient dose of sunlight. Sunlight is needed for photosynthesis. This is a biological process whereby the energy from the sun aids in the production of food for trees.

Now, nectarine trees left to grow unattended will block out sufficient sun rays from touching all parts of the tree.

  • Growth Control

One of the main purposes of pruning nectarine trees is to enable them to maintain structural integrity.

Here, the limbs need to be distributed in an even manner that doesn’t create a problem when fruits grow. Fruits create added weight onto nectarine trees and may end up breaking some limbs.

  • Improving your Tree’s Health

Like humans, nectarine trees also face different challenges including health. This is seen in diseased, decayed, or pest-infested trees. None of these conditions is good and will need to be taken care of.

One of the ways to do this is by pruning the affected limbs.

This prevents the disease or problem from spreading to other areas of the tree. Aeration is another added benefit your tree gets from trimming. Air and sunlight penetrate better.

  • Enhancing Safety

This benefit of nectarine tree pruning applies to you and your family. Some limbs of nectarine trees will dry up.

When left unattended a heavy storm could blow down such branches. This could end up causing severe injuries to anyone passing close enough.

  • Promotion of Fruit Production

There’s always a boost in production whenever nectarine trees are trimmed. The trees reproduce more and grow better.

  • Increasing your Property’s Value

How is this possible? Consider a situation where you want to sell a house but the buyer comes and finds your tree looking shabby and unkempt. This is likely to negatively impact your bargaining power.

Knowing to prune nectarine trees is crucial to maintaining your trees. We’ve provided information on that as well as how to go about the process. Lastly, we discussed the several benefits obtained from pruning.

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