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Old 22-08-2006, 01:36 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default when to prune apple, pear, cherry trees & redcurrents

On the allotment that I have just obtained are an Apple / conference
pear and cherry tree. They are in bad need of a prune to get some
shape back.

When should I prune these and also are there any recommended methods
for doing this ?

Also I have a couple of small redcurrent bushes how and when should
these be pruned ?


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Old 22-08-2006, 08:56 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default when to prune apple, pear, cherry trees & redcurrents

Hello,
The timing and kind of pruning required is dependant on the type of
fruit.
For your apple and pear tree the winter pruning approach would be as
follows:
As the tree has not been looked after for a while then pests and
diseases can be an issue, particully once you start stiring things up
by pruning. Here are a few
steps to take.
..
First, this kind of pruning is done when the tree is dormant and there
is no hard cold spell that could damage the exposed tissues. Secondly
if there is a lot do do, then the work should be spread over at least
two, preferably more, winters. As the tree is of an age, be careful as

to what is safe to stand on if you are climbing it.
..
1. As with any pruning remove any dead, dieing or damaged branches.
Think larger banches rather than the fine growth, those that need a saw

rather than seceteurs. For the most part you will be cutting back to
healthy growth.
2. Remove branches that are growing the wrong way - they want to bee
going outwards not back into the crown of the tree.
3. Next are the crossing branches, here you need to stand back and
look at the tree from several positions to descide which branch to
remove.
4. Deal with branches that are too high, too low and too spreading.
Having done all this you will start to have a framework to work with.
5. Then it is a question of overcrowding. This is the enemy -
congestion limits light and air flow.
6. To help prevent fungal infections spreading, paint over large
wounds with a fungicidal paint such as Medo, available from good garden

centres.

The best advice I can give is to take your time, follow the steps in
order. Yes you are likely to go around the tree a few / several times,

but by following the steps you avoid being too drastic and being left
with a stump.

Winter pruning encourages growth, so don't be suprised to see lots of
new growth next season. Come summer, the new growth can be thinned to
select new branches.

It will probably take three to five years to get the tree

The RHS has a leaflet - which can be found at
http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile...fruit_tree.asp

The cherry tree is slightly different as the pruning of sweet cherries
is different from acdo / morello cherries - so rather than explain - do
you know what you have got?

As far as your redcurrant bushes go, if they have finished fruiting
they can be pruned now. Winter pruning is generally recommended. The
productive life of a currant bush is around 10-5yrs. If it is around
this age you are better starting afresh. If the bush is young and
overgrown you are better spreading the work over a couple of winters so
as not to overstress the plant.
First - they are easy to root from cuttings, so find a piece of new
wood 8-10ins long, cut below a leaf joint and remove lower 2/3rds of
leaves, take a spade, make a slit, put in some sand and insert cutting.
Heel in and water keep moist over next year and you should have youself
a new plant. Its easier starting from a new plant as you can train it
yourself rather than try and restore, but it can be done. Red and
whitecurrants are spur spruned, that is to say that the fruit comes on
one year old wood so this wants to be incouraged. To do this you want
to select around 8 -10 branches. Remove any old unhealthy looking
wood. When you have finished pruning you are expecting to see just the
main branches. I say that first so you don't feel worried about what
you are removing. The pruning is basically removing any side branches
to 3 buds - around an inch in length. then reduce the tips of the main
branches by a couple of inches. Dead easy.

There are many good books on the market, may I suggest the RHS
encyclopedia of gardening - it costs around 5-10 +5.00 P&P on ebay
and the fruit section is as good as the stand alone RHS fruit book

If you want further advice, feel free to ask. The Northern Fruit Group

run a course on renovating old fruit trees at Harlow Carr, Harrogate.
The course is very popular and fills quickly, so book early when the
RHS publish their Harrogate prospectus (available on the RHS web site).

If you want any details, let me know and I will get it for you. The
Northern Fruit Group are holding a Summer pruning workshop at RHS
garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate on the 31st August from 10.30 - just
costs regular garden admission

Good luck

Clifford
Bawtry, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

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Old 28-08-2006, 10:08 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default when to prune apple, pear, cherry trees & redcurrents

cliff_the_gardener wrote:
.....lots of good advice snipped....
As far as your redcurrant bushes go, if they have finished fruiting
they can be pruned now. Winter pruning is generally recommended. The
productive life of a currant bush is around 10-5yrs.

^^^^^^^^

did you mean 10-15years?

I've always read this sort of figure in many books. But my 18 year old
Goosegogs, Red & Black currants show no sign of flagging and produce as
much as they did when they were 5 years old.

Jim
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Old 29-08-2006, 01:28 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default when to prune apple, pear, cherry trees & redcurrents


Jim
did you mean 10-15years?

Yes -
Goosegogs can have a long productive life - up to 30 years apparently.
You seem to be doing well with your currants - they seem to suffer as
they get older
Clifford
Bawtry, Doncaster, South Yorkshire



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