Pruning Fruit Trees after Frost


Pruning Fruit Trees after Frost

21Feb 2019

As soon as the temperatures become milder we garden lovers look forward to being drawn back outside. The hibernation is finally over and of course there's plenty to do before spring arrives, like pruning pipfruit trees such as apples and pears. Spring pruning is proven to have a positive effect on crop yield while also being seen as an important rejuvenating factor for older fruit trees.


When can I prune?

Pruning can be carried out as early as January/February, even at single-digit sub-zero temperatures. To ensure speedy recovery, make sure that the weather is dry. Precipitation promotes fungal diseases entering the fresh cut.


How do I prune?

When you go to prune it's vital to have a clean and sharp tool. Any crushing or bruising of the cut should be avoided at all costs. We recommend using rose scissors for smaller shrubs and a hacksaw or trimsaw for sturdier branches. A combinable telescopic arm can also be effectively utilised when pruning large trees.

The aim of trimming fruit trees is to create sufficient space for new fruit shoots. This enables the tree to put more energy into the ripening of the fruit, while also allowing the fruit to get more sun—which of course helps to sweeten the harvest.

To thin out the crown correctly, competing shoots must be removed, i.e. all shoots that threaten to outgrow the central shoot and the leading branches. Depending on its size, a fruit tree should have three to four leading branches on each side of the central shoot. These may end at the same height as the main shoot. Now all vertical shoots and smaller branches are removed. An old farmer's rule says that the crown should have enough space between the branches that you can throw a hat through it. Instructions including graphics can be found here.


We wish you much success and a good harvest!