Friday, 10 February 2012

Pruning apple trees at Dudmaston.

The last two Thursdays have seen some of the members of the Tuesday Task Force go over to Dudmaston to help Dan the gardener with the mammoth task of pruning all the apple trees in the orchard by the tea room. On the first visit 6 trees were pruned by the 5 willing volunteers, which was of great help to Dan who usually has to spend weeks pruning the near 30 trees to get the job done. To help with the task, a scaffold was set up, as well as a surprisingly sturdy 3 point ladder which allowed for higher branches to be pruned with ease.

The correct pruning technique was demonstrated by Dan.
    Pruning lower branches.
  • Cut back half of last years growth to just above a bud.
  • Remove any over crossed or inward growing branches  to create a goblet like shape.
  • Remove any weak branches that will not support fruit in the summer.
  • Thinning out any overgrown parts of the tree.
  • Cutting back when the branches of two trees start to become entangled.
This should ensure that the trees look good, but also ensure a better crop of fruit this year.

3 point ladder made reaching high branches very easy.

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