Pruning Young Trees

Pruning Young Trees Pruning Your Tree

Prune apple, pear, quince and medlar trees as below during the months Dec – March.
Prune plum, gage, damson and cherry trees as below during the months May – July.

Feathered Tree (tree with branches)

You can prune back any side branches that are longer than 15cm by half their length. Prune to a bud. Eg, a 50cm side branch can be pruned back to 25cm.

If the branches are less than 15cm then leave them unpruned.

If you want to create a goblet shaped tree (open centre) then prune the main stem back to an existing side branch.

If you want to create a centre-leader tree (Christmas tree shape) then prune the main stem back to 15-20cm above an existing side branch.

Maiden Tree (tree with no branches)

By pruning the main stem back you will encourage side branches to grow in the following summer.

Reduce the main stem to a height at which you would like side branches to form. This is generally between 1m – 1.5m from the ground. Cut to a bud.


Pruning for Espaliers and Fans

Prune the tree down to around 35 – 45cm from the ground. Prune to a bud. See our website for details on how to train the new growth for these forms.

Pruning for Cordons

If starting with a feathered maiden, prune all side branches back to 10cm. Prune back the main stem to 15cm above a side branch. Any side branches that are less than 15cm can be left unpruned.

If starting with a maiden, prune the main stem back by 1/3 of its length.