Prune aples & pears
If you grow apples or pears, now is the time to prune away drooping, weak or rubbing branches. Always use clean and sharp secateurs. Cut back last year’s growth to the main branches by about a third, making sure to trim to a bud that faces outwards and upwards. Side shoots can be cut back to five or six buds.
Now is also a great time to plant new fruit trees, but get advice on suitable varieties for your situation. When planting, dig in plenty of organic matter and afterwards, spread a mulch around the surface, but don’t let it come in contact with the trunk. It’s important to stake any newly planted tree and use a proper tree tie, which can be loosened as the tree grows. My favourite variety is the cooking apple ‘Bramley’s Seedling’, but it needs to be near two other varieties for pollination. However, there are many eating and cooking varieties that are selfpollinated and form smaller trees, so are better suited to the average garden.