Spring is finally here, it is dry and cool, ideal time now to get those trees pruned. When pruning fruit trees always prune to have the centre open to allow maximum light and air to the heart of your plant. The type and variety does not matter, air and light give you the healthy tree that will produce well for now and the future. Most of our trees are grown Espalier, this allows maximum light and air to reach all parts of the trees.
As you prune start by removing any damaged, crossing or diseased shoots. Determine how high you want your tree to be when fruiting, we have never liked the idea of climbing a ladder (or the tree) to pick fruit. We restrict all ours to a maximum height of 8′ or 2.2m, that is as high as I can easily reach. Prune to outward pointing shoot buds about 3′ or 1m above the ground in year one. Second year, create your bowl shape with shoots, with strong 30-40′ angles to the truck. Third year now you are creating the future framework for where you want the fruit to be.
When you purchased your tree you should have found on the plant tag, or you would have been told whether this variety was spur or tip fruiting, and whether it fruits on this years or last years wood. These are critical things to know as you for your future pruning success. If you do not know, now is the time to find out before you start year three pruning.
As you will see from the pictures, our Plum, Apricot and Peach trees still have nice side growth left as these will bear the blossom and fruit on last years wood for this season. Apple and Pears are pruned to help create blossom spurs with much shortened shoot growth.
Please ask any questions in regard to pruning (or any questions), always happy to help guide you through the process.