Pruning fruit trees, when and how?
Determining exactly when to prune your fruit trees is difficult, and there are many factors to consider. For example, the age of the tree, the type of fruit tree and whether the tree is well-cared for are important considerations. As a general rule of thumb, there are a couple of different times to be aware of, and make sure that you have the right tools so as not to damage your tree(s)!
We recommend our pruning saw or bow saw for thicker branches, and our stylish secateurs and pruning shears for smaller ones. Our gardening tools also reduce the risk of damaging your tree, as well as ensuring you have the power to do the pruning by yourself without tiring your arms!
So to get back to the timing, and which timing is actually right, let's start with the spring winter. Spring winter implies the time where it doesn't get very cold, but your tree also hasn't started to bud. This can be between March and April for instance, depending on the year and the anticipated temperatures. Pruning when the sap in the tree has started to rise can be damaging to the tree. If you are unsure, you can make a test cut on a smaller branch, using our pruning shears or secateurs. The cut should not get moist, as this moisture is a sign that the sap in the tree has risen.
The JAS period is another key time to prune your fruit trees, and JAS refers to the period July, August and September. During this period, many trees bear fruit, and this can usually be taken advantage of. If you prune away branches where fruit is growing too sparsely or too densely, the remaining fruit will have more room to develop. The cut area of the tree will also be able to heal much faster during this period, although if the tree has a lot of leaves and dense branches it can be difficult to access, which may make it more likely to make mistakes when pruning.
The very most important thing to bear in mind here is to make sure that the pruning period and method are appropriate for your particular fruit tree. Apple and pear trees are more 'tenacious' than some others, and can tolerate spring-winter pruning much better. As a rule, it is better to focus on small and unruly branches rather than large ones to help the tree heal much faster.