Autumn Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

Autumn Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop

We attended our first ‘Springston Secret Garden‘ workshop on Sunday morning, it was a very cold start but the information gleamed was well worth defrosting the car and getting outside early.

Greg Quinn of Home Orchard Care, expertly pruned a selection of fruit trees in the garden and helpfully answered any questions that the attendees asked.

Some pruning and tree care tips we picked up for our garden included:

  • Keep your tools clean between trees being pruned
  • Use quality tools with sharp edges to ensure you make clean cuts
  • Buy quality tools that last
  • The spiky shoots that come up from the base of citrus trees (Poncirus Trifoliata) should be pruned off as this is the rootstock
  • Peach & Nectarines fruit on 1-year-old wood
  • Cut out dead and damaged branches
  • Open up the centre to light allowing the centre of the tree and therefore fruits all over the tree to prosper
  • Apples & pears fruit on 2+ year wood
  • Cherries fruit on 1-year and older wood, they can also fruit on the main stem
  • Red currents fruit on older wood
  • Keep fruiting wood close to the main wood
  • The fruit trees in the Springston Secret Garden suited being formed into a vase shape. There are other tree forms and it is worth considering what forms might deliver the most fruit before you start pruning.
  • A mixture including Oregano Oil or Thyme Oil could be used to reduce leaf curl for peaches, etc
  • 1 in 1,000 chance in growing a good fruit tree from a seed
  • Pear scion-wood can be grafted onto Quince
  • Apple scion-wood can be grafted on to an Apple, Medlar, Quince, European Pear
  • Many stone fruit scion-wood can be grafted onto a plum or Golden Queen Peach rootstocks

The steps for pruning choices should be:

  1. Remove rootstock shoots and suckers
  2. Remove branches with damaged wood (as these can lead to infection)
  3. Remove branches that cross each other and are likely to rub or block/shade each other
  4. Consider the shape of the tree and what will work best for fruit collection
  5. Use pruning paste on any cuts that are 25mm or bigger
  6. Don’t cut out more than 30% of the canopy, otherwise, the tree could suffer from shock

These were our notes, but we’re not the experts – if you have a home or commercial fruit orchard and need assistance, we suggest you contact Greg.