Some of our family lives on a lifestyle block, and they have planted over the last few years a variety of pip and stone fruit trees. When we visited, we had in our mind to prune all of the trees not yet in the bud. As it is quite late in the season for pruning, we applied pruning paste to a few more cuts than perhaps we would usually – hope this helps the trees close their wounds.
No images of the pruning sadly, we got distracted with the task at hand. We dis discover some fungi growing on a rotting trunk and we did collect scion wood to experiment with grafting/root growth.
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:
Remove rootstock shoots and suckers
Remove branches with damaged wood (as these can lead to infection)
Remove branches that cross each other and are likely to rub or block/shade each other
Consider the shape of the tree and what will work best for fruit collection
Use pruning paste on any cuts that are 25mm or bigger
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.