Proper pruning is an important step in ensuring healthy, strong trees. Train fruit trees while young to avoid problems later. Improperly pruned or neglected trees are more subject to disease organisms and breakage from fruit loads and storms. Prune in late winter or early spring just before bud break. Wound dressings are of no benefit in pruning and can even harbor disease organisms. Proper training through correct pruning is important for a healthy, strong fruit tree. If a tree is properly trained from a young plant, it needs only moderate annual pruning when it reaches bearing age. Young trees that are neglected will require removal of large branches later. This opens the tree to infectious disease organisms. Neglected trees also suffer more damage from fruit load and storm breakage than properly trained trees. Pruning is best done in late winter or early spring just before bud break. Occasional summer and fall pruning may be needed, but keep it to a minimum. Avoid pruning in late spring and early summer when disease organisms have the best chance of invading pruning wounds.