Best Pruning Practice In Four Cuts: Introduction

IMG_0697Why do we prune a tree?  The simplest answer is to give the tree the best chance of a long, productive life. There are, though, many reasons for pruning. For fruit, we want light and air penetrating the centre of the tree; to benefit wildlife, we may want to rebalance a tree that is no longer productive so that it remains standing; or we may just want to create an attractive shape.

Most pruning guides get very complicated very quickly.  We will show you 4 cuts and how the tree will respond to them. Each pruning cut has a specific purpose such as controlling growth, removing damaged or badly placed branches or stimulating the formation of flowers and fruits. Once you understand how a tree will react to being cut in these 4 ways, you have the tools to manage your fruit trees.  Of course, you can choose to get into the complicated stuff – but start here. Continue reading

Winter Or Summer Pruning?

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Winter is the traditional time of year to prune apple and pear trees. The reasons for this are partly historical. January and February were quieter months in the agricultural calendar when farm labourers were available to work in the orchards.

In fact, pruning can be done in summer and winter.

As a  general rule winter pruning promotes vegetative growth; summer pruning slows growth and encourages fruit production.

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