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Apple and pear tree “surgery”

Dear All,

I have an apple and a pear tree that have been neglected. Both are in need of some tlc, but is it too late or do they still have a chance? They are on a fence line facing east. I’m thinking of digging up and moving to a more centralised position in garden (so we’ll look after them and eat the fruit). They both provided last year. What do you all think/advise!

pear top, apple below


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,351
    edited March 2020
    If they produced fruit last year and it was of a reasonable quality I personally would not dig them up. If they are fruiting they are happy. No point in making them unhappy.

    So far as “surgery” goes, the less you do at one time the better. Fruit trees react very badly to being “chopped”.  So, this spring, you could remove a few, I mean a few, of the branches that either cross over the centre of the trees or lean inwards. Cut them cleanly right back to the trunk. Don’t leave a little stumpy bit. The aim is to leave the centre of the tree open and airy. When you have cut back maybe five crossing or leaning branches like that on each tree (maybe fewer) put the secateurs down and don’t touch the trees again until late summer. 

    In late summer, you will be able to shorten a few upward pointing branches by a little bit and again a few inward pointing branches.  Again, little is better than more. Never surprise a fruit tree, it will always jump in the most unexpected direction.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,117
    They do look like they have been trained "espalier" style at some point, but have got away. Look up how to bring them back in line, there is lots of info how to out there. Good luck and show us how you get on.😁
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,996
    Right side up...

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
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