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Pruning Fruit Trees

Each winter when your fruit trees are dormant, they need a bit of TLC. So here is a general guide on how to prune your fruit trees.

It's from a great New Zealand website called POD Gardening, and is really easy to understand and very straightforward. I always thought that pruning was quite a science, but I'm keen to give it a go after reading this:

​Give Fruit Trees a Winter Tidy Up

The aim of a winter tidy up is to get trees back to a healthy and productive framework whilst they are dormant. By letting light and air into your trees you will help to encourage fruiting buds to form and ripen into fruit whilst at the same time depriving pests and diseases of sanctuary. Most stonefruit trees are pruned into an open, vase-like shape whereas these days many pipfruit trees are grown with a central stem (leader) into a Christmas tree-like shape. It’s fairly straightforward, start with a sharp pair of secateurs, loppers and a pruning saw for thicker stems.  First, remove any suckers that are growing from the base of trees. Next, remove all dead and diseased branches along with any that look weak and spindly and any that are crossing and rubbing against each other (take out the weaker of the two). Using a pruning saw – and maybe some help - take out any large branches that are growing through the center of the tree so that it is left open – remove small branches from the center too. Sometimes this can mean two or three large stems coming out – if this is the case then maybe do one per winter over a couple of years to stop loads of vigorous re-growth. If you can, burn all prunings as they may harbor pests and diseases.

The original post can be found on the POD Gardening website here.

Apple tree image via.