Pruning Costs May Outweigh Benefits
To prune or not to prune? While there are many reasons to prune, University of California Extension Service trials do not support regular pruning. In trials spanning several years in Kern, Stanislaus and Colusa counties, pruning did not increase yield, but in most cases, it actually decreased yield. In presenting data from these trials at the 2008 Almond Industry Conference, Colusa County Farm Advisor John Edstrom concluded that minimum pruning will reduce costs and increase net profits for California Almond growers.
Growers may want to prune to:
- Allow more light into the middles to improve crop drying
- Facilitate equipment access
- Remove dead or diseased wood
- Reduce stick-tights at harvest