Deciduous Fruit Tree Pruning
Story: Deciduous Fruit Tree Pruning
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane
Air Date: 22nd August 2020
Pruning deciduous fruit trees prior to summer is extremely important, and now is a great time to do it.
- An extendable pruner can reach up to 4m high, taking away the need to use a ladder so there’s less risk of falling and hurting yourself.
- A sharp pair of secateurs and a lopper will be necessary. Make sure you have sharpened the blades before you prune.
- Dip the blades in some white spirits before pruning and between each tree. This will clean the blades, preventing the spread of fungi and disease.
- You should reduce the branches of your fruit tree by about 50%. This will keep your tree at a manageable height so you can access the fruit easily when harvesting.
- Remove any branches that are growing across each other. This stops branches shading each other out and reducing crops.
- Remember to cut on a 45-degree angle so the water runs of.
- The top of the cut should have the growth bud angled in the direction you want the branch to grow.
- Clean cuts are absolutely crucial. Sometimes you will have a bit of bark rip, so make sure you use the secateurs to clean up the cuts that are not so clean. Ensure there’s no open bark.
- The ultimate goal is to create a flat vase-shaped growth pattern.
- Pruning will reduce the number of fruiting spurs, meaning you’ll get less fruit but bigger fruit.