Fruit trees should be pruned from the time they are planted. Early pruning will shape the tree into a desirable structure and will encourage better fruit production and less broken branches later in life. There are three types of pruning systems, Central Leader, Vase or Open Center and Modified Central Leader. The type of tree will dictate the pruning system chosen. Central Leader is best for apples, pears, persimmons and pecans. Apples, pears, peaches and nectarines can be pruned during the winter, but wait until summer to prune apricots, cherries and pluots. Do not prune when rain is forecast–you want dry weather for the cuts to heal over. If your trees have started to bloom or buds are swelling, it is a good idea to wait until either next dormant season or until you are ready to do your summer pruning. Make sure your pruners are clean and sharp. Clean up leaves and dropped fruit on the ground to decrease potential overwintering spots for pests and disease. For more information on pruning apples and pears, watch this video, or our other video on pruning a peach tree. We have compiled links to all of our fruit tree videos and articles at Fruit Tree Central, check it out for a wealth of information from planting, pruning, pest control and more.