Late summer pruning

Pruned orchard 8.13 wideOur fruit trees are looking like shorn sheep – fresh and sprightly, relieved of their season’s over-exuberant growth. Bryn Thomas from Brighton Permaculture Trust visited last week as part of our fruit tree project. For the apples and pears, it’s been a case of pruning the side shoots, back to about five leaf points from the main leader. We’ve got beautiful fat apples on Tinsley Quince and Mannington’s Pearmain, and a few lovely pears fattening up on both pear trees. The trees still look beautiful, with dark green leaves despite aphid infestations throughout the summer.

 

 

Pruned plum 8.13For the plum, however, it’s been a radical change of character. She – as she’s a Marjorie’s Seedling, I always think of her as a she –  was tall and willowy when she was planted in a dustbin (how undignified!) in March 2012. She has grown happily ever since, but forever stretching upwards.  Now, the main leader stem has been cut right down. She’s going to be a lovely, rounder, more goblet-like, tree as she matures, but I confess to missing her idiosyncratic stem reaching for the sky over our fencing.

Following Bryn’s example, I think I’ll have to take the secateurs to my young miniature plums and cherries, which have been quite unruly in their growth over the summer.

 

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