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[ Garden Talk ]
March 21, 2002
I have a pear tree and a few apple trees that have been neglected and somewhat mauled by bears. When is the best time to prune and how severe should I get.
(March 30, 2002)
The best time to prune these trees are in spring after all danger of heavy frost has passed, but before the tree leafs out. Remove any broken branches & try to re-shape your tree as best you can. The general rule is to never prune more than a third of your tree. The more severely you prune your tree, the more watershoots your tree will have. To try to keep bears from getting into your fruit trees next fall, remove all produce as soon as possible. If this is not practicle (flowering crabapples), you can try spraying your tree with a sulfur spray. The scent should help keep them away.