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
Climate change is producing variations in the forces of nature, generating weather patterns that are affecting fruit trees and their care. Here is an update of the essential tasks to be performed in a garden orchard.
From 8 November 2019
Currently fruit trees are starting to lose their leaves. They are preparing for dormancy. This means the trees will be relying on the reserves built up by photosynthesis during the past growing season. This energy building will not re-start until new foliage has been formed next spring.
Here are the tasks to be performed for fruit trees in a garden orchard:
Apply winter wash.
Remove weeds and grass around the trunks of the trees.
Remove the netting that was used to protect the crop.
Take a picture of the tree canopy.
Assess the nutritional needs of the trees.
Take a soil sample. Watch a video about how to obtain a soil analysis.
Clear away irrigation equipment for winter storage.
Protect outside taps against frost.
Check the fruit currently stored weekly, removing any rotten fruit.
Check baiting points for rats and mice.
Put discarded fruit out for the birds visiting the garden.
Take in and store any pheromone traps and wasp catching jars.
Carefully remove all fallen apple and pear leaves affected by scab fungus.
Get ready for winter pruning by sharpening secateurs and pruning saws. Watch a video showing the winter pruning of an apple tree.
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..
Wild flower meadows and fruit growing
Our third suggestion regards wild flower meadows and their function in improving fruit tree cropping. We planted our own wild flower meadow several years ago, and we have seen how marvellous it is in providing a home for pollinating insects, above all in years of extreme climatic conditions. Click on the photo below to find out more about wild flower meadows and fruit growing.