Time to Summer Prune

It’s time for summer pruning of your established trees – both stonefruits (peach, nectarine) and pome fruits (apple, pear) for fruit production. Our peaches and nectarines have cropped for the first time this season and the taste has been incredible, so we look forward to more luscious fruit in coming years.Simon contemplates a dwarf stonefruit - prune to avoid the christmas tree shape

Young trees which are still developing structure and canopy will do best with an autumn/winter prune, but for the rest, this time of year is best. Pruning now will mean some vegetative growth in late summer and early autumn before dormancy over winter and then the tree will focus on flowering and fruiting in spring, not leaf and limb production (which happens when you winter prune).

For biodynamics, the best time to prune is on a waning moon, descending and in an earth sign (or fruit?) – so for this month 17-19 Feb is ideal (but do it when you can!), and trees could benefit from some tree paste or a biodynamic seaweed spray, or a spray of BD500 after pruning.

Diggers Club have a great video on You Tube which simplifies things – here – and are holding a workshop on 24th February at the Garden of St Erth (Blackwood). Julie attended the budding workshop and says it was good value and well presented.

Don’t forget to sharpen tools and clean them with metho (or diluted bleach) before you start on each tree, to make sure you don’t cross-infect with any nasties that may be about.

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