Winter Pruning: Apple & Pear Trees

Winter in the garden: pruning apple and pear trees

Winter Pruning Apples & Pears…

It’s good to keep up the maintenance and winter prune to help keep apples and pears healthy and productive, which is normally between November and March. Keeping fruit trees in good shape is the most reliable way to achieve high yields.

Firstly any dead, dying or diseased branches should be cut back to healthy buds or remove altogether back to the base, taking out old, unproductive branches, and cutting back close to where they join. By doing this, in spring, the flow of sap is concentrated into fewer buds resulting in stronger growth.

Apples that are grown on dwarfing root stock (M9 & M27) need little pruning, however medium to large trees benefit. The aim is to open up the centre of the tree so that air can circulate between branches helping to minimise between pest and diseases, and letting in more light to reach the developing fruit in summer.

Once your tree has reached its required size and shape, most of the pruning can be done in summer leaving a small amount to be done in winter.

Summer pruning encourages flowers and fruit.


Live in Corfe Mullen, Wimborne, Colehill, West Moors, Ferndown, Verwood, Blandford, St Leonards, Ashley Heath, Bournemouth or Poole?

» For help with pruning trees and shrubs please contact me.