Thinning Fruit Trees

Nearly all fruit trees will benefit from some thinning. Proper thinning leads to larger, tastier fruit that is less likely to suffer from pests and disease. Here are three easy tips to guide you.

1. Start thinning fruit when it is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter. We recommend two rounds of thinning: a lighter, early session and later thinning to achieve the final desired spacing. This helps ensure that you do not overthin on the first go-round.

2. Thin so that mature fruit will not be touching. Depending on the fruit, this will typically range from 2 inches to 4 inches between each fruit. For apples, we generally leave just one to two apples per cluster.

3. When thinning, gently twist fruit off or cut with clippers. Trying to pull fruit off can damage the plant and adjacent fruit. We know it can be hard to part with all that immature fruit, but just think of the big, sweet and juicy fruit that will result.  


Jeffrey Robbins
Revolution Landscape
8730 Miramar Place
San Diego, CA 92121

Categories: Gardening