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Summer Pruning Workshop, July 2015

On 21st July, eight BCOG members met for an evening summer pruning workshop with fruit tree specialist, David Squirrell. The apple and pear cordons and espaliers, also all the stone fruit such as plums, gages and cherries need summer pruning. The stone fruits are never pruned in the winter as they are susceptible to infection by the silver leaf fungus, whose spores are more readily transferred in cool, damp conditions. Pruning wounds also seal more quickly in summer, as the sap is flowing. After David’s explanation of the principles of summer pruning and demonstration of the techniques, the group got down to the vital job of reducing this season’s vigorous growth, to let light and air into the ripening fruits, as well as to the wood that will bear fruit next year. Excellent progress was made and the job completed. The trees are now less congested and the spread of each has been brought back to its allocated space and intended shape (much the same as with a good and timely haircut)! The focus is now on the developing crop, which is looking good and benefiting from the recent rain to help swell the apples, pears, plums and gages.

We are very grateful to Powerstock Cider Festival for generously funding this workshop.

Report and photos: thanks to David Hawkins
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