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Pruning fruit trees is an important part of maintaining their health and productivity. When pruning fruit trees, one common goal is to keep them small and compact, which can make them easier to manage and harvest.

Here are some tips for pruning fruit trees to keep them small:

  1. Start Early: It's best to start pruning your fruit trees when they are young, as this will help shape them into the desired form. When planting a new fruit tree, remove any branches that are too low or too close together.

  2. Choose the Right Time: Pruning should be done in the late winter or early spring, while the tree is still dormant. This allows you to see the tree's structure more clearly and makes it easier to make pruning cuts.

  3. Know What to Cut: When pruning fruit trees to keep them small, you should focus on removing any vertical shoots or branches that are growing too tall or too far out from the trunk. You should also remove any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other, as this can cause damage and disease.

  4. Use Proper Tools: Use sharp pruning shears or saws to make clean cuts, and make sure to sanitize your tools between trees to prevent the spread of disease.

  5. Prune Regularly: To keep fruit trees small and compact, you should prune them every year. This helps to maintain their shape and prevents the tree from getting too big and unruly.

  6. Don't Overdo It: While pruning is important, it's important not to over-prune your fruit trees. Removing too many branches can stress the tree and reduce its fruit production. Aim to remove no more than 25% of the tree's branches in a single year.

With these tips, you can prune your fruit trees to keep them small and manageable, while still producing plenty of delicious fruit. Regular pruning is an important part of maintaining the health and productivity of fruit trees, so be sure to make it a regular part of your gardening routine.