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Summer Fruit Pruning

While most fruit pruning jobs are completed during the winter dormant season, some fruiting plants also require attention during the summer and fall months.

Peaches/Nectarines/Plums: May – August

In the dormant season, major pruning involves maintaining the overall height of the tree canopy as well as maintaining the open center of the canopy which allows light in to stimulate growth of new fruiting wood and improve fruit quality. Lighter pruning for the same reasons can be accomplished during the summer after fruit is harvested. For videos on peach pruning and more, visit: http://trec.ifas.ufl.edu/fruitscapes/Fruitscapes-videos/peaches/playlist1/peach_tree_pruing.shtml

Figs: June – July (after fruit harvest)

Established plants can be pruned after fruit harvest to eliminate dead or diseased limbs, limbs that cross each other especially if rubbing together, and to remove long slender “water sprouts”. Larger plants can be trimmed back to maintain the bushy shape and make reaching fruit easier.

Blueberries: July – August

Established plants can be topped to control height and encourage branching after fruit is harvested. Depending on the size of the bush, the canopy height can be reduced by several inches up to a foot or more. This prevents plants from becoming too tall and will stimulate new growth that will become next year’s crop.

Blackberries: Late Summer to Fall

Blackberries produce fruit on one year old canes, known as floricanes. These were vegetative canes (called primocanes) the previous year. After fruiting, floricanes dry up and die. They should be pruned out and removed at the ground or crown level as soon as they die. In a healthy blackberry stand, five to six remaining canes per foot of row is ideal after pruning, and blackberries can form a solid hedgerow.