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Give Your Fruit Trees Some Spring Love – Get Thinning!

| 5/31/2019 8:00:00 AM

Thinning is one of those jobs that grew on me. It took me many years before I began to understand it’s value. I used to hate plucking those sweet little baby fruits off, but now I love it! Such a peaceful job among the trees, and the fringe benefits are many.


A huge crop of fruit is an exciting moment for humans, but not so fab from the trees point of view. A young tree's growth is set back, fruit doesn't ripen fully, codling moth and other pests flourish in the close quarters, branches break under the load and because next year’s spurs don’t get a look in, you run the risk of setting up a biennial bearing pattern (an enthusiastic big crop followed the next year with an exhausted little crop).

The time to thin is when the young fruits reach marble sized. Wander your fruit trees regularly in spring to catch this moment.

How to Thin Fruit Trees

Work your way systematically branch by branch. Use seceteurs to cut pip fruits and your thumb and finger to twist stone fruits. Pulling is disastrous!, you risk taking the whole spur (next years fruits) off.

 Remove deformed or stunted fruits. Leave the best.

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