How Do You Brace a Fruit Tree Branch?

Most fruit trees have limbs that are not properly positioned for bearing fruit, but this problem can be corrected by bracing. Braces strengthen the limbs of a tree and force them to grow at the correct angle. To properly brace a fruit tree, one needs spacer sticks, a pruning tool and some garden twine. Spacer sticks may be cut branches, plastic tubings or pieces of light wood.

  1. Determine how the fruit tree should be shaped gives two examples of the best shapes for trees. Peach trees should be shaped with an open habit, and apple trees should be pyramid-shaped, with the scaffold branches extending from the tree at 90 degrees every 6 inches.

  2. Prune the tree

    Prune the tree if necessary. Leave the branches that bear fruit.

  3. Position the spacer sticks

    Place the spacer sticks between the trunk and the top of the branches that must be forced downward.

  4. Cut the spacers to the correct length

    Cut each spacer so that the upward pressure of the lower branch keeps the spacer in place without putting the limbs at risk of breaking. Attach as many spacers as are needed to secure the limbs.

  5. Use garden twine to hold the spacers in place

    Tie garden twine from the middle of the spacers to the main trunk. After a few months, check the limbs to see if they need to be forced farther downward. If so, pull the spacer sticks closer to the trunk.