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Before fruit trees leaf out in spring, before the first signs of aphids, powdery mildew or obscure scale, home orchardists can undertake an important control step to minimize pesticide use later in the season.

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Spring is fast approaching. Though it’s still too early for most seed starting, there are several gardening activities well suited to “pre-gardening” season. Among those timely activities is the pruning of fruit trees and woody material around the landscape.