January brings the gardener many jobs, but apple and pear tree pruning can often get overlooked. Why? It is essential to create not only an attractive looking tree but also one that crops well too.
I always start by surveying the tree and understanding what shape I'm trying to end up with. I imagine a goblet shape with an open centre, this will allow sunlight to ripen the fruit for next summer.
The next stage is to remove any damaged, diseased or crossing wood before moving onto pruning the previous year's growth to one or two buds from the fruiting spur.
After checking the centre is free of growth, it may be necessary to remove some spurs. Its important to do this if they have become congested. You may have noticed too many fruit the previous year so by removing some older fruiting spurs you will have fewer fruit but hopefully larger and tastier ones.