February already! January seems to have disappeared. So what jobs can you get on with in February? It’s the ideal time for apple and pear tree pruning.
Get yourself a decent pair of secateurs for this job. And some steady step ladders! One of our suppliers Frank P Matthews share their tips on how to prune these trees to get the best out of them.
- A little pruning every winter is better than infrequent, drastic pruning. Very hard pruning can trigger the growth of watershoots which are not productive and can crowd the canopy – it is best to snip these off.
- Prune evenly throughout the canopy, do not just remove the outermost tips. The aim is to create an open spread of branches with plenty of young, fruiting spurs.
- Reduce by at least a third any of the new tips and thin out any crossing or congested branches within the main canopy.
- Remove any dead wood and if there are any signs of canker (dark, flaky patches on the bark) cut back to good wood and dispose of the clippings.
- Prune small side shoots back to two or three buds where possible.
- Apples and pears respond well to pruning so be confident, the tree will bounce back.
- There is no need to paint anything on any of the cuts, the tree will heal itself.
If you have any questions, please do call or pop in, we’re delighted to help.