Pruning Facts: Pruning is done in late winter/early spring. The goal is to remove smaller branches to maximize the sunlight and stimulate growth. Sometimes pruning is to make tree tops a more desirable shape.
- Loppers and small hand saws are used for pruning.
- Chainsaws are used for larger cutting.
- Workers will prune from the ground and use ladders for cutting higher branches.
- Workers will sometimes have one leg on the ladder another on the tree to reach desired branch.
- Mobile platforms are used in place of ladders in some trellised orchards.
- Sharp tools are a laceration hazard, while a duller tool increases repetitive motions and increases force which can lead to musculoskeletal problems.
- Workers wear gloves and eye protection while pruning.
- Can lead to ladder injuries and musculoskeletal problems.
Note: Mobile platforms are self-propelled platforms that move between the trellis rows. It has 2 sections where the height can be independently adjusted. Usually two workers are on the platform at a time each pruning one side of the row. Platforms in trellis orchards eliminate ladders and standing in trees. It also reduces reaches above the shoulder.