In Phoenix, AZ it is time to prune deciduous fruit trees. Yes, these are apple trees - one year old apple trees which I planted as bare root trees last January. They actually bore fruit last year, a fluke I am sure, so I am not expecting any this year. These small trees are still developing their roots, so I am trimming them back to allow more energy to go the developing strong, healthy roots.
They are now about 4 feet high. I cut the lead branch about one foot on each tree. I also want to keep them to about 8 - 10 feet high at maturity so I can easily harvest the apples without needing a really tall ladder.
Here's an easy tip to use when pruning. Keep about three branch nodes on each branch. Run your hand along the branch and you will feel bumps, which are the nodes. Feel for the nodes on the underside of the branch and cut about 1/4 inch about the third one from the trunk for NEW trees.
If your deciduous fruit tree is more mature, prune out crossing branches, any branch in the way of the house, a pathway, power line or deadwood. But be carfeul not to create any large openings in the canopy that will let in too much sunlight. The summer sun will scorch the bark!
Here's a few more trees you can prune this time of year (courteousy of Integrity Tree Service).
Prune deciduous trees and shrubs such as mulberry, pecan, elm, ash, desert willow, chaste, pomegranate, peach, plum and other stone fruits. Lightly prune vigorous evergreens such as sumacs, eucalyptus and mesquites if they are heavy and need maintenance to keep them safe until their normal spring or summer pruning.
Prune olive trees before they are sprayed to give your applicator better coverage.