Summertime Fruit Tree Pruning

garden tip

In summer, it is beneficial to prune most fruit trees in order to maintain form and height. Here is some helpful information on pruning apple, stone fruit, citrus and avocado trees.

For apples and stone fruits like peaches, plums, apricots and pluots:

Prune to maintain form, structure and height.

Prune to thin out the canopy, allowing better airflow to minimize disease and create better light penetration to help
  ripen fruit.

Thin out fruit if production is so abundant that they may not be able to grow large enough or ripen well.

Prune sucker shoots growing from the rootstock. They do not produce desirable fruit.


For citrus and avocados:

Prune to maintain shape and height, but don’t prune to thin these out for airflow or light penetration, as these fruits
  don’t need it.

Prune wayward shoots, branches that grow down to the ground (common with lemon trees).

Prune root suckers.


Dave Ehrlinger, Director of Horticulture
San Diego Botanic Garden
230 Quail Gardens Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024

Don’t miss San Diego Botanic Garden’s Gala in the Garden – A Stroll Around the World, from 5 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7. Tickets: $175 per person; $200 after Aug. 23. To purchase, visit or call 760-436-3036, ext. 21, for more information. This year’s Paul Ecke Jr. Award of Excellence Honoree is Pam Slater-Price, former San Diego County Board Supervisor. 

Categories: Gardening