Summer Pruning Guide: Fruit Trees Edition

Are you looking at your abundant fruit harvest and wondering the best way to keep fruit trees aesthetically pleasing in addition to producing delicious fruit, before we get into fall and winter (that’s when the real pruning work begins)?

Summer Fruit Tree Pruning

Are your fruit trees looking heavy? Do your fruit trees have deadwood?

Now is the time to take care of some proactive fall pruning work, with some summer fruit tree pruning!

As a reminder, as a general rule of thumb the majority of pruning fruit trees happens during dormancy. Winter pruning encourages new growth on the fruit trees. This will occur in December and January.

This DIY fruit tree article is to help you get a little ahead of the game. Here’s what you can trim during summer:


  • Thin out deadwood on fruit trees. During dormancy it may not be as easy to determine live tissue from dead. If you see deadwood on fruit trees now, it’s ok to remove. Thinning out deadwood will also help distribute the sunlight more evenly throughout the tree.
  • Summer pruning uses thinning cuts which does not encourage new growth (as opposed to winter pruning which stimulates growth). During the summer months, remove leafy upper branches that are over-shading fruit on the lower branches.
  • The summer thinning cuts help build your ideal tree limb structure. If you have young fruit trees, summer pruning is ideal.
  • If you want to keep your mature fruit trees at an easy-to-harvest height, summer pruning helps keep those trees in check – so as not get too tall or wide for cumbersome maintenance.
  • Pest control can be a benefit of summer pruning too. If you prune off fruit with damage from mites, moths, or tree aphids, be careful! You don’t want to contaminate your orchard. Dispose of these infested fruit and branches promptly, and never compost them.

Experts Say…


  • Stone fruits, such as peaches and nectarines grow quite rapidly and should have 50% of their new growth removed after harvest.
  • Slow growing apricots and plums and need only 20% of their new growth pruned away.
  • However, depending on the species and size of the tree, we always suggest you contact your arborist for his/her advice on how much to trim off your fruit tree in summer months.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful on how to prune fruit trees during summer. Please visit our other informational blogs on fruit trees for more helpful information to ensure a bountiful harvest!