Deciduous Fruit Tree Pruning

Story: Deciduous Fruit Tree Pruning
Episode: 2
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.