Pruning Untrained Apple & Pear Trees

Always use sharp secateurs, loppers and a pruning saw.

Start by removing crossing, rubbing, weak, dead, diseased, damaged and dying branches.

Then shorten the previous year’s growth on each main branch (primary) by about one third to a bud facing outwards from the middle of the tree. This will encourage the development of new branches and spurs in the shape of a goblet.

Leave young laterals (side-shoots) unpruned so they can develop fruit buds in the second year.  Only remove the young laterals if they are crossing or if the growth is too crowded.

Remove strong shoots (great than 15cm (6in) long) growing towards the centre of the tree.

On older trees, remove or thin out any spur systems that have become congested. Where thinning or removal is required, remove spurs on the underside of the branches, where the developing fruit will not receive enough light, and produces inferior fruit.

Make sure you are safe at all times and have someone with you to help.