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Fruit tree pruning.

Pruning fruit trees is a necessary means of managing the tree in order to achieve consistant yields of good quality fruit. Failure to train and prune a tree will ultimately lead to the production of numerous small fruit and congested growth

There are many different styles in which a fruit tree can be grown, each requiring their own management practices. Whatever practice is employed, they all aim to increase the ammount of light falling upon the fruiting wood

Pruning can be divided into three sections

From a historical perspective, many trees where grown from seed (apples do not grow true to type from seed); good fruiting trees kept, poor trees removed. This accounts for the diversity of apple cultivars that can be found today.

Orchards of such trees where grazed by livestock and the trees thus had large clear trunks, sheep in particular have a taste for apple wood. The trunk was often had a clear stem of around six feet on top of which sat a goblet shaped canopy. Such orchards where low density and took 10-15 years to come into production

In comparison to modern orchards, productivity was low in yield terms. This style of tree is what we would refer to as a standard.

Whilst orchardists of the 1800's knew of dwarfing rootstocks it was not until the work at East Malling and their later collaboration with the John Innes Institute leading to the Malling-Merton series of rootstocks, did the advancement of dwarf trees take off. Initially this started off in the 1930's as the development of the bush tree which was in effect a small version of the standard tree, but with a shorter clear trunk. Over the years the trunk became shorter and by the 1950's the trunk where very short. For modern gardeners, trying to cut grass this makes for difficult management. Today bush trees typically have a clear trunk of around 60-75cm (2-2 1/2ft).

The equivalent amount of ground covered by stardard trees with bush trees will yield more fruit.

Many home gardeners still look to grow these lollipop type trees, yet there are much better yielding alternatives

Why not get your tree expertly pruned using our fruit tree pruning service, or may be you would like to prune the tree yourself but are uncertain what to do, why not ask Fruitscape to come and show you what to do. Please contact Fruitscape to discuss your requirements.