How To Prune Trained Fruit Trees During Summer
Prune Trained Fruit Trees During Summer. Tom Cole from Capel Manor College shows us the correct way to prune fruit trees in summer. This thins out the branches to lead to a superior harvest, and a tastier treat!
Step 1: You will need
A good pair of secateurs
Step 2: Why prune?
Summer pruning should only be carried out on trained or growth restricted trees. It's a way of boosting the quality of the crop, by removing unnecessary shoots and ensuring the fruit gets as much light and air possible. Its not a way of controlling the tree's height or structure, which should only be done during the winter, when the tree is dormant.
Step 3: Secateur technique
Practice using the secateurs before you begin. Make sure you use the whole of the blade to get a clean cut, using just the end may snag and tear the branch.
Always cut at a slight angle, slanting away from the tree. This is the direction the new shoot will grow.
Step 4: Where to cut
Only remove new shoots which are in their first season of growth.
Look for the basal cluster, this is the whirl of leaves around the bottom of the shoot, just above the rings of old wood. Cut through the shoot at an angle, about 1 cm above the basal cluster. Use this technique to prune any new branches that may be blocking the light getting to the fruit.
Be sure to remove any diseased or dead wood too.
Step 5: Fruit Thinning
Once you have pruned the branches, thin out the fruit. This will give you a smaller harvest but of a far superior quality.
First look for any fruit with holes or disease and remove these before the pests spreads to the surrounding area. Simply twist off, or use secateurs.
Pay attention to any large clusters, remove the weakest to give the stronger fruit more room to grow.
If two fruit are rubbing against each other detach one, the other can now grow without restriction.
Work your way along the tree, thinning where necessary. Leave the remaining fruit to grow and ripen until they are ready to harvest.