Andrew Koeser, a professor of landscape management at the University of Florida, recently spoke at the Florida Pomegranate Association growers meeting about pruning pomegranate trees.
Koeser discussed a pruning timeline to follow to keep pomegranate trees healthy and promote continuous growth. When the tree is first established, he advised, do not complicate the transplanting process; allow the tree to grow. In the first year, he said it is only necessary to remove suckers and keep an eye out for diseased branches.
During the second year, Koeser said to look for three to five branches that are strong and growing in the right direction. These branches will establish the canopy of the tree. Keep looking for diseased branches and removing suckers during this time as well.
After three years, the tree should have a fully established form. Koeser suggested lightly pruning the tree from this point forward to ensure new growth, and as always, watch out for diseased, dead or broken branches.
When it comes to selecting pruning tools, Koeser said if you prune often enough, the smaller the tool the better. This means a hand pruner would be a sufficient tool. He also emphasized the importance of pruning regularly. “If you keep on it every year like you should, eventually the pruning gets pretty minimal, and you can just maintain shape with just a little bit of effort,” he concluded.
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