Jon Ellis on Pruning Fruit Trees

Our first meeting of the year got off to a great start with our speaker, Jonathan Ellis aka “The Mulch Guy” aka “Pruning Guru”. Jon shared many pointers about pruning our Ojai Valley fruit trees from apricots and other stone fruits to citrus and avocados. His theory is that pruning is a combination of hard work and art. He believes that trees provide us with food, beauty and shade and that it’s our job to help them more healthy and productive!

Here are just a few pointers that Jon gave us today:

– Proper tools of pruning include good pruning shears, loppers and a small saw. Keep them sanitized (with alcohol) and sharp.

– Prune to keep the centers open for air circulation and sunshine

– Sanitize after each cut or after each cut on a diseased branch

– Be sure cuts are at the proper angle but be sure to leave the neck or collar

– Mulch and fertilizer are extremely beneficial. Jon recommends mixing fertilizer with a high quality potting soil then spreading that under the tree. The soil hastens breakdown of the fertilizer.

– Deep water about once a month

– Keep the trunks dry and free of mulch and debris

– clean up all pruned branches and leaves

– Helpful to also prune in the summer after fruit is harvested so that the strength goes into next year’s fruiting buds

Jon gave many more tips and suggestions too numerous to mention. He is available for consultation and/or pruning. His phone is 818-388-7364 or by emailing him at

Thanks so much, Jon! We learned so much today!