This article will discuss 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 important 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
Tree pruning is a vital maintenance measure that keeps trees in proper growing conditions.
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 the tree to sunlight, allowing for better penetration. However, the timing determines whether this action will be successful or not.
Unlike other trees pruned during dormant seasons like winter, nectarine trees are quite different. These trees should be pruned in late winter to early spring.
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 they must be done due to the situation.
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 primary scaffold limbs should be maintained during pruning. Scaffold limbs from the trunk should be considered and supported to maintain a particular shape.
The limbs of nectarine trees shouldn’t be allowed to point in the same direction. Being spread evenly allows for balanced growth. Cut any middle branches 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 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 of bleach with nine parts of water. All cutting or pruning tools must be cleaned between cuts.
Cleaning tree cutting tools between cuts is essential when dealing with infected or diseased nectarine trees. Apart from improper growth, pruning also removes diseased and dead branches.
Here, such branches must be cut back to the main trunk.
The most active period for trimming or pruning a nectarine tree covers three years, 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, nearly 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 many benefits. These range from access to sunlight, growth control, improving the tree’s health, and enhancing safety.
Other benefits of nectarine tree pruning include promoting 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 necessary 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 sufficient sun rays from touching all parts of the tree.
One of the primary 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 add eight onto nectarine trees and may enbreakome 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 tree areas. Aeration is another added benefit your tree gets from trimming. Air and sunlight penetrate better.
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 impact your bargaining power negatively.
Knowing to prune nectarine trees is crucial to maintaining your trees. We’ve provided information on that and how to go about the process. Lastly, we discussed the several benefits obtained from pruning.