Things to do this week:
Prune fruit trees. It's time to prune deciduous fruit trees. This is even more of an art than is pruning roses, and there are books on the subject. In general, apples and apricots need the least pruning, peaches and nectarines need quite a bit, and plums fall in between. The idea is to encourage new growth but not cut off actively producing "spurs"--short branches that bear most of the fruit. Proper pruning also lets light and air into the center of the tree; rids the tree of unsound, crossed or crowded branches; reduces the size of the tree if desired; and removes "waterspouts," those overly long branches that shoot upward.