Fruit tree growing | pruning fruit trees | apple, pear, plum, cherry, apricot, peach, nectarine, sweet chestnut, walnut, crab apple, cob nut, medlar, black mulberry, quince and many more
This website provides high-quality information on growing fruit trees in a garden, including pruning fruit trees, thinning, fruit tree pest control, planting fruit trees, training fruit trees as espalier, fan, cordon or stepover, and much more.
Garden fruit tree advice
Both in our country and Europe-wide, we are seeing weather extremes. It is the individual’s attitude which will help to bring global warming under control;
Support your local economy, go slower not faster, resist buying any products in plastic packaging and only use food grown the natural way. Look after trees as a priority, not your artificial lawn.
Principal tasks in a garden fruit orchard
Week starting 25 November 2019
Problem trees: if you notice a significant change in bark colour of one or more trees with respect to normal and other trees of the same variety, there there may be a drainage problem in the soil. Mark those trees and dig an inspection hole to check ground water level.
Frost damage to mini fig fruitlets; Now all the fig leaf has fallen to the ground, it is important to protect the young fruitlets with fleece, hay or straw. In fact, the same way that you protect an outside tap from winter frosts. Watch a video on growing figs in the UK.
If you have ordered new fruit trees, dig a trench now, so that you can heel in the trees once the trees have arrived if you have no time to plant the trees properly. In that way there is no pressure to plant as you will have plenty of time to complete this job later during the winter months. However do protect the trees from damage caused by hares, rabbits, mice etc.
Concentrate on pruning windbreaks, apples, pears, mulberries, quinces and medlars. Do not prune plums, cherries and peaches until very much later.
Watch a video showing the winter pruning of an apple tree.
Peach leaf curl: if this has been a problem, collect all the leaves, put into the non-recycling bin, and cover the canopy of the tree with a waterproof material. This should be kept in place undamaged until the tree begins to flower. Watch a video on peach leaf curl management.
Make sure all the leaves affected by scab on apples have been removed or buried under an organic type of mulch.
Next update: 29 November 2019.
Trees in trouble
Sometimes, you may run into fruit tree problems – fruit trees can get sick. All sorts of things can happen: they may stop growing, their leaves may discolour or curl up, perhaps they don’t produce much fruit. Just contact Dan Neuteboom by email, describing the fruit tree problem. Specify your location (fruit trees are site specific), and include some photos if possible.
Dan Neuteboom on fruit trees
“It has been my pleasure to live and work with trees all my life. Each tree has to fight its own battle in order to survive and make the best of each situation that may occur, be it drought or flooding, severe winter frost, or an attack of insects, and the various diseases. I have had the good fortune to be able to observe the various ways trees cope with these situations. On this website, I provide advice on pruning fruit trees with videos on aspects including winter pruning, summer pruning, and the basic principles on how to prune fruit trees.”
The videos published on this website illustrate the critical stages of fruit development, from the period from blossom to fruit formation, in a chronological sequence throughout the year. Click here to see the videos currently available.
Here is one of our videos. Dan shows us how to cut out tree canker. Narration by Dan Neuteboom, camera by John Paddy.
Tree care section
It is an absolute truth that trees communicate with us as human beings. It is up to us to recognise this fact through careful observation, which enables us to interpret the behaviour of the tree to mutual advantage. There is a lot of free information on this website that will help growing fruit trees successfully. Click here for our interactive tree care index.
Hints and tips
We would like to provide three tips that are so important that we prefer to mention them right here on our home page.
Firstly, any newly-planted tree should have a rabbit guard to protect the trunk from damage caused by hares and rabbits, but also by cats and dogs. The type of guard depends on the wildlife you have in your area. Click on the photo below to watch a video on rabbit guards for fruit trees.
Secondly, the very best way to ensure that the trees get a really good start is – in the growing season, in other words from April to mid-September – to give each tree one or two full watering cans each week..
Fruit trees and climate change
What contribution can we all make to combat climate change?
Every day we are hearing that planting trees is one of the factors that can help combat climate change. In the UK the latest government manifesto includes a commitment to planting 15 million trees over the next 5 years.
But we can all make positive contributions that helps slow down climate change. Apart from limiting use of fossil fuels, we can plant trees in our own garden if we have one. Planting a fruit tree is beneficial in many ways, with the extra benefits of being able to enjoy home-grown fruit free from artificial chemicals and wasteful plastic packaging.