Trees - Knowledgebase Question

Reno, Ne
Question by steveskorea
March 7, 2010
I have three fruit in the back & three non-fruit in the front of my house. The ground is so hard (rocks/soil) the branches grow six inches below the ground. They have not been taken care of. When pruning the many branches, how much should I cut back?

Answer from NGA
March 7, 2010


I'm a little confused about your question. Anything growing beneath the top of the soil is considered a root, not a branch. Anything growing above ground level is considered a branch. You shouldn't prune roots but you can prune branches and if there are suckers (upright stems) appearing near the trunks of your trees, you can prune them off completely. As for branch pruning, you can safely remove up to one third of the branches in the canopy of your tree. Cut them back to their starting points and don't leave stubs. You can shorten any remaining branches by one third to one half. Ornamental trees that flower should be allowed to flower before you prune them back. If your trees do not flower, you can prune them back now. Hope this information is helpful.

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