Prune aples & pears

RTÉ Guide - - Gardens -

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.

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