Pre-Pruning Fruit Trees

Why do we pre-prune our bareroot fruit trees? What can possibly be beneficial in pruning and planting a tree this way? Elmer explains all in this video.

Stark Bro's bare root fruit trees are grown for 2 years in our nursery rows. The first year, the rootstocks are established and the trees are budded/grafted. The second year is when the trees put on a mountain of top growth! After this second year, the trees are dug up to be shipped to you. The digging process can break many of the tree's fine feeder roots. The result? The disrupted roots are not able to support the large amount of top growth after transplanting.

This can heighten the effects of the natural transplant shock that occurs when any tree is moved from one growing site to another. The art of pre-pruning our bareroot fruit trees brings the roots and top growth back into balance... ensuring the best chance for survival and transplant success. Even after pre-pruning, new growth will sprout and replace what was removed once the root system is established.

Take note from the video above:

  1. The top is cut down to about 2/3 original height.
  2. The pruning cuts are made at 45 degree angles.
  3. Each cut is about 1/4 inch above an outward-facing bud.

Here's to the future success of your new trees!