Across much of the whitetails’ range deer managers plant fruit tree plots. Fresh fruit is very attractive to deer and can be the key to tagging an early season bruiser. Just like any other food plot, fruit trees require care.
Fruit trees require pruning each year. Proper pruning allows fruit trees to produce more and better tasting fruit. It is important to wait as late into the dormant season as possible before pruning. The GrowingDeer team likes to watch the weather to ensure a warm day follows the day of pruning. A warm day allows the tree a day of growth to cover the wounds from pruning.
When pruning, cut any limbs that are not growing up at a 60-degree angle. A 60-degree angle is ideal for bearing the weight of fruit. It is also important to look for any limbs that are touching any other part of the tree. Rubbing limbs leave the tree scarred and exposed to disease. Trimming more is usually better than being conservative. Prune until there is a scaffolding like structure that allows sunlight to reach all parts of the tree.
It has been a rough winter, but hang in there – spring is close! If you are blessed with a warm sunny day take advantage by getting out there and showing those fruit trees some love.
Chasing Whitetails together,