Summer is the optimal time to prune fruit trees for a variety of reasons, including aesthetics. First and importantly, summer pruning controls undesirable growth on fruit trees by removing energy-wasting water sprouts. Additionally, summer is a good time to remove the leafy upper branches that excessively shade fruit on lower branches, prohibiting the necessary sunlight for healthy fruit production. While winter pruning is meant to stimulate the tree, summer pruning utilizes thinning cuts, or cutting the branch at the point of attachment versus along the branch, requiring less energy of the tree.
Training young fruit trees is essential to building tree limb structure. To achieve mature trees with an easy-to-harvest height, as well as a beautiful shape, fruit trees must be pruned in the summer. Trees that benefit from summer pruning include: peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots.