BDN speaks with Moran for article on pruning fruit trees

Renae Moran, a tree fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and an associate professor of pomology for UMaine’s School of Food and Agriculture, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for an article about pruning fruit trees. “This is the time of year when the temperature starts to warm up and there’s less danger of interfering with the natural hardiness when you prune,” said Moran, who works at UMaine’s Highmoor Farm in Monmouth. “For apples and pears, you want to be done pruning by the time the trees start to break [bud or grow], which is the end of April, and that’s because as it warms up, there’s a disease that starts to build up and that’s called fire blight,” she said. The opposite is the case for stone-fruit trees, such as peach and cherry trees, Moran said, adding it’s best to prune stone-fruit trees after they start to grow. “These are just guidelines,” Moran stressed. “It’s still better to prune the trees than not. Pruning is one of the best things you can do for fruit trees.” More information is on the UMaine Extension website in the section “Growing Fruit Trees in Maine,” which Moran co-authored with Glen Koehler, UMaine associate scientist specializing in integrated pest management, the article states. In addition, several fruit tree pruning workshops are held throughout the state by the University of Maine and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, the BDN reported.