The snow has melted, the birds are flying north, and the grass is beginning to turn green. It is also time to prune our fruit trees.
It is very important to prune some varieties of fruit trees. Peach and apple trees need substantial pruning. Pruning does for a fruit tree what exercise does for the human body.
In order to produce quality fruit the peach tree needs to have much of the vertical foliage pruned off. The limbs on other parts of the tree need to thinned. To develop the fruit needs to be able to get much sunlight through the limbs.
The branches should grow out from the trunk of the tree like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. The limbs that are growing across the tree should be removed to make access to the tree easier for harvesting. Fruit buds form on the new wood in the tree so some should be left for this purpose. However, the tendency is to leave too much and so to many peaches develop and must be thinned to obtain any size.
Apples also require pruning. The tree should not be allowed to become so tall that harvesting is difficult. Again as with the peaches the vertical limbs should be thinned and shortened.