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Fruit Tree Pruning Help

Hi, Bought my first fruit tree's and planted them. I have 2 apple trees, a cherry tree and a nectarine tree. All were planted as bare root in April. I just wanted to check and get some advice on pruning/shaping. Do I need to prune any of these tree's and if so what cuts would I need to make?




  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,742
    Far too many ifs and buts to answer here without writing a short book.

    The best thing you can do is to buy yourself a book on fruit tree pruning. 

    I can wholeheartedly recommend Harry Baker’s book called Growing Fruit. Published by the RHS. Now out of print but still available online.

    Fruit tree pruning is a complicated matter and not one to be done without plenty of preparatory reading (and a sharp pair of secateurs).
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,559
    From the pictures I would say that they have been pruned by the nursery/ grower. Think about the ultimate size & shape you want & then decide. The stone fruit Cherry & Nectarine should not be pruned in winter, to avoid infection getting in. 
    AB Still learning

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,742
    There are really too many variables in the question. 

    For a start we have apples, citrus and stone fruit. Three completely different types of plant.

    Then, even within the apple question, we have varieties - spur bearer, tip bearer or partial tip bearer? Each of those has a different pruning requirement.

    Within those three types, we have to consider the rootstock/vigour of the plant and how it would react to pruning, be that summer pruning or winter pruning.  

    After the variety question we have style - bush, espalier, maypole - what shape the tree will eventually be.

    Soil types affect how the tree grows, too. Maybe the soil is holding its growth back, maybe pushing it on.

    And I haven’t even begun to talk about the citrus and stone fruit pruning.

    As I say, read read and read before you even pick up those secateurs.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
    edited May 2019
    Here we prune our fruit trees in the middle of winter, say late December or January when they are dormant but not when there is freezing weather.  At the moment the sap is rising so you shouldn't prune now.  If you see any fruits forming, gently remove them with the tips of your fingers but don't remove any of the wood, so the energy can go into the growth of plant and not into forming fruits.
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,814
    One thing you can do is remove any fruit which forms this year. Although the trees look like they are already at least two years old the best thing you can do is let them get properly established before letting them crop. Then gradually increase the amount of fruit you let them bear over the next couple of years. They look well prepared with a nice open bowl shape which you should ultimately try to keep in future years.

    In addition to the excellent Harry Baker book have a look for on-line guides. I think Ashridge Trees had some excellent video tutorials.
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