How to Prune Pomegranate Trees

Опубликовал Admin
8-11-2020, 02:40
Growing pomegranates is a rewarding experience. Not only will you get a beautiful tree laden with bright, red fruits, but you'll get a tasty treat once harvest time rolls around. They do require pruning twice per year, however. If you don't prune a pomegranate tree, then you may encounter problems such as disease, dieback, stunted growth, and poor harvest.

Trimming a Newly-Planted Tree

  1. Plant your pomegranate tree in late winter. When you get a new pomegranate tree, you'll have to start pruning it right away. Since the best time to prune a pomegranate is in winter when it is dormant, you should plant it in early to mid winter.
  2. Keep 1 strong shoot and cut the rest if you want a single-trunk system. Choose the strongest, healthiest-looking shoot, then use a pair of pruning shears to remove the rest. The remaining shoot will eventually grow into a 10 to 12 in (25 to 30 cm) tall trunk with about 5 to 6 branches coming off of it. You will eventually cut it shorter.
    • This system is not recommended for areas that are prone to freezes. If your single sucker dies, then you have to start over. Choose the multi-trunk system instead.
    • Make sure that your shears leave a nice, clean cut. If the shoot is too thick, use a fine-toothed saw instead.
  3. Leave 5 to 6 strong-looking shoots if you want a multi-trunk system. Instead of choosing just 1 shoot, pick 5 to 6 of the strongest-looking ones, and remove the rest. These will turn into branches growing directly from the ground without any trunk. You will be cutting them shorter eventually.
    • A multi-trunked plant is more likely to survive a freeze; if 1 of these branches dies, you can simply replace it with another sucker.
    • You should use a pair of pruning shears for this as well, unless the shoots are too thick. In this case, use the fine-toothed saw.
  4. Cut the young shoots down to about 24 inches (61 cm). Use a pair of pruning shears (or a fine-toothed saw if they're too thick) to trim down your remaining 1 to 6 shoots down to 24 inches (61 cm). This will help them put forth new buds and produce a bushier plant.
    • You only need to do this once; don't do it during the following years.
  5. Remove additional suckers or water sprouts in the summer. Suckers are additional shoots growing from the ground. Water sprouts are shoots growing from the base of the trunk, below the main branches. Not only can they detract from the overall appearance of the tree, but they can also suck up nutrients and water.
    • You will need to do this every summer afterwards.
    • Cut suckers as close to the root as possible with pruning shears; you may have to dig through the soil in order to reach the base.
    • Use pruning shears to snip the water sprouts off as close to the trunk as possible.

Pruning During the Second and Third Years

  1. Cut the branches back by about a third. Use pruning shears for thinner branches and a fine-toothed pruning saw for thicker ones. Leave about 3 to 5 shoots per branch.
    • Finish cutting on an outward-facing shoot. This way, the new branch will grow outward, not inward.
    • Leave the outward-growing branches and prune off the inward-growing ones. This will help increase air and light circulation.
  2. Remove suckers and water sprouts at least once per year. Summertime is the best time to remove the suckers, but if your plant is producing a lot of them, you will need to repeat the process more often. Once in the late spring and once in the early fall is a good rule of thumb.
    • Use the same method as you did before to remove the suckers and water sprouts.
    • Don't let these grow and develop. They'll just suck up the water and nutrients that could otherwise go to your tree.
  3. Remove dead or damaged branches starting from the third winter. Once your tree enters its third year, it is well-established and doesn't need as much heavy pruning. A light prune in the late winter after all danger of frost has passed is all you need.
    • Keep up with the suckers and remove them as you see them.
    • Cut the dead or diseased branches a few inches/centimeters below the diseased portion. The exposed wood should look healthy.

Maintaining a Mature Tree

  1. Remove dead, diseased, or crisscrossing branches in the winter. By now, your branches may be too thick for pruning shears, so a fine-toothed saw ought to do the trick. Cut as close to the base of the trunk or branch as possible. If you leave a stub, it may harbor pests and diseases.
    • Consider pruning the small shoots at the ends of the branches as well. This will give you bigger, tastier pomegranates!
  2. Prune away suckers and water sprouts in the summer. This is something that you should be doing throughout your tree's lifespan. Suckers and water sprouts will appear the most in the summer, but if you see them at other times during the year, it wouldn't hurt to prune them off.
    • Incoming suckers and sprouts will always be thin, regardless of the tree's age, so a pair of pruning shears will do the trick.
  3. Keep the tree around 10 to 12 feet (3.0 to 3.7 m) tall. You can allow the tree to grow taller, but it will be harder to harvest it. This is because most of the fruit grows on the top of the tree. You can easily reach the fruit on a 10 to 12 ft (3.0 to 3.7 m) tall tree with a 9 ft (2.7 m) tall ladder.
    • Most pomegranate trees will reach about 10 to 12 feet (3.0 to 3.7 m), but some varieties may grow taller. In this case, trim the branches shorter.
  4. Prune away branches that don't bear good quality fruit. Your pomegranate will bear lots of fruit, but there may come a time when you have to pick-and-choose which branches to keep and which branches to prune.
    • Cut the branches as close to collar as possible. The collar is the raised ring between the trunk and the branch.
    • If you keep all of the branches, you'll be preventing the healthy ones from getting as much energy as they could.
  5. Trim the tips of the branches to encourage new growth. If the tree is still very young, you only need to trim the first 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm). If the tree is older, then it would be better to cut 12 to 24 inches (30 to 61 cm) instead.
    • This will help expose the new wood, which will encourage more growth.
  6. Make sure that the fruit does not weigh the branches to the ground. Think ahead when pruning in the winter and use your best judgement. If a branch is long and close to the ground, give it a gentle pull. If it touches the ground, prune it shorter.
    • If the fruit touches the ground, it may rot or get contaminated.


  • If you notice any dead or diseased-looking branches, trim them off in the winter, when the tree is dormant.
  • You can, and should, remove suckers more often. As their name implies, they suck water and nutrients that could otherwise be feeding your tree.
  • Your tree's exact pruning needs may differ depending on the variety and the climate that you live in.
  • Find out your tree's variety and research it online. If you aren't sure what the variety is, ask a nursery.
  • It is not recommended that you apply wound dressing as this can actually slow down the healing process and increase the chances of fungal growth.
  • Use fertilizer during the first and second springs and rotted manure in the third.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Fine-toothed saw
  • Ladder
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