Our top tips for pruning your fruit tree are:
Remove dead and diseased bits of your tree.One of the most important things you are doing for your tree is removing parts that it is sending nutrient to that are dead or diseased. This lets your tree put more energy into fruit and growth.
Get rid of branches that grow downwards.Generally, you want your tree to grow up. Branches that hang down can allow disease to get in the tree from the ground and just make it harder to pick. It's best to encourage the bulk of the tree to grow and fruit where you can easily reach it to harvest your delicious apples. Remove branches that are crossing over. Crossed over branches can rub and are another place disease can get in. It also makes it hard for fruit to grow and harder for you to harvest. Keeping it neat and tidy helps the tree and you to eat more apples.
Try to reduce the damage you make to healthy branches.Sharp tools and taking your time are great ways to reduce the damage you do to the otherwise healthy branches of your tree. It's great if you can make clean cuts and try not to hack into other parts of the tree.
Aim to create space in the growthThe branches and fruit of your tree will grow better if they have airflow and space. When you're pruning it's great to make tough choices about which branch is going to give the most fruit and (gulp) remove the competing branch.
Pruning ToolsHigh quality, sharp tools are a must when pruning your trees. Lucky for you the garden fusspots at the Pip Shop have tracked down what we reckon are some of the best garden tools available. The Opinel Range are French and fantastically high quality steel and timber. In this video Robyn used the secateurs and the pruning saw. Have a peek at those in the shop:
So Frenchy, so chic - this ultra high quality Opinel secateurs will last you ages with a little loving care.
Look after your tree with clean cuts and sharp tools. This pruning saw is a little savage (super sharp!).