How to Prune Nut Trees
When to prune?
Early spring or late winter is the best time to prune. When first planting a nut tree, prune the top third of the tree back to a strong bud. This will become the central leader or main growing shoot. After the first pruning, allow this leader to grow upward to form the main trunk. Keep the strongest branches coming from the central leader by following the directions below:
1. Try to create a strong network of branches coming off the main trunk
2. Prune any sucker growth or branches that are too low
3. Make sure cuts are at a 45 degree angle to allow water to run-off
4. Prune out any dead or diseased wood
5. Prune out any crisscrossing branches or branches that are growing inward or downward
6. Prune out any branches that have a narrow crotch angle
7. Prune branches that are growing too close together
8. When pruning large branches coming from the main trunk, do not prune it flush with the trunk, leave a small collar, this will scab over and heal.
9. If you are pruning back to a bud, cut back to a strong dormant bud that is facing outward. Leave about ½” inch of wood before the bud for dieback.