The backbone of my January diary is made up of fruit tree pruning. I like this time of year for that reason – with the rest of the garden sleeping I get chance to take my time over some lovely trees be they small and well trained in suburban gardens or the remnants of ancient orchards. I sometime fantasise about a life spent looking after commercial orchards but for now I’m quite happy with the few dozen fruit trees in my charge. This month will see me giving a light trim to a few trees I’ve cared for over the last few years and undertaking more substantial renovation pruning jobs on one or two older ones.
It’s very satisfying work and what’s more…I get to climb trees..
Why prune ? Neglected trees eventually grow congested and become less productive over time. It’s very satisfying to see a tree that has only produced half a dozen fruits for a few years become bountiful. Pruning takes place at this time of year when the tree is dormant and before the new growing season begins in earnest. Good fruit tree pruning often feels like solving a puzzle, you’re trying to work out how to bring out the best in each tree which if neglected will have grown in its own idiosyncratic way over time.
If you’ve got some fruit trees that you think might be in need of a prune don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Here’s one of the apple trees I look after in all its fruiting glory