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PRUNING by NUMBERS

When it comes to summer pruning your apple and pear trees, fruit expert David Patch has a simple formula for success that anyone can remember

FRUIT TREE PRUNING

Gardening is full of sayings about wha to do and at what time of year – star box hedge clipping on Derby Day, the Chelsea chop for herbaceous plants and shallots should be planted on the longest day and harvested on the shortest. One we use constantly here at the nursery is when to summer prune apple and pear trees – the answer is always ‘second Sunday in August’. Giving such a specific date invariably raises a smile and hopefully makes it easier to remember, but the middle of August is the perfect time to summer prune all apples and pears, whether growing as free-standing trees or in trained forms such as cordons, espaliers and fans. We’ll look a little bit at the history of summer pruning and the theories as to why it should be done before finally explaining exactly what you need to do to your own trees.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

This month - Keep fresh, harvest and storage tips plus grow grapes and soya beans. Wow factor - Try globe artichokes and cardoons. Feeling drained? Share the highs (and lows!) of gutter gardening. Herbal treats - make a handy herb box and visit a grower's paradise. Fun with fungi - a beginners guide. Plus pruning for fruit, cash savers, feed your soil the organic way and fantastic exclusive videos in our custon iPad edition.