Pruning By Numbers

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Pruning an apple tree can be a daunting prospect, but try not to give into your fear.  Planting a tree and walking away to leave it to its own devices is not advisable. Trees that are not pruned will produce less fruit over time and the branches will become congested and diseased. Pruning does not need to be complicated. Taking time to understand the theory behind it certainly helps. It’s also useful to bear in mind the number 3. You’ll be surprised how often it turns up when you are making your pruning decisions. Continue reading

Pruning Young Trees

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Planting a cider apple and perry pear orchard at Houghton Feb 2013

Orchard Origins went back to the Houghton Project this week to prune the apple and pear trees we planted a year ago. Pruning a tree in its early years – known as formative pruning – helps it to develop a strong, basic branch structure.  As discussed in a previous post Winter or Summer Pruning, formative pruning is best done in the winter when the tree is still dormant.

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Bare-root or container-grown?

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Autumn is the traditional time of year to plant fruit trees. Apples are always a popular choice.  With more than 2000 cultivars to choose from in the UK, there is a tree to suit every garden and every palate. Once established, a tree will produce fruit year after year and provide an important source of food and shelter for birds and insects.

Buying a fruit tree is a long term investment, so it is important to purchase them from a reputable tree nursery that can advise on the right tree for your orchard or garden.  Trees are sold as bare-root or container-grown.  Most experts would advise buying trees bare-root, but what is the difference? Continue reading