Saturday, 7 September 2013

Cordons - Summer Pruning Year 1

My apple trees have all grown well this year putting on loads of growth.
Today I managed to do a job I've been meaning to do for the last couple of weeks and thats to summer prune my cordon apple trees.
The apple trees ave put on lots of growth this year
 They're meant to be summer pruned around two weeks before the apples are harvested off that tree, but as none of mine have got any apples on I decided to try to do it just late enough that they won't put any secondary growth on that will get killed by the frost.
Cordons looking a little messy
 The first year of pruning these is quite easy. To start with I tied in the leader if it was growing vertrical and slackened off any ties that were getting too tight on the rest of the tree.
I then cut any branch growth back to the lenght of about 1 1/2". These should for my fruiting spurs in years to come. Although I did this for every tree, a couple of trees I left branches long so that I could take a graft off them in the spring to propergate from them.
Apple tree all tied in and looking tidy
They all looked neat and tidy by the time I was finished. I am going to move one tree in the winter as it has far too many bare patches to be a good cordon and since planting it I have discovered it is a tip bearer so not much good as a tree that  I'm trying to create fruiting spurs on.
Anyone else summer prune their fruit trees?


  1. Most of my apple trees are a complete mess; I wish I knew how to deal with them in order that they become more productive. The worst offender is the Bramley which has become huge, but it does produce several tons of fruit!

    1. Just go for it - at worst they'll take a couple of years to grow back to what they are now! And bramley's are buggers for getting out of control, make sure if your going to do some big pruning work then spread it out over a few years as too much in one go can make then try to gorw more branches at the expense of fruit

  2. I only winter prune my trees, taking the summer growth off then. I think summer pruning is really only necessary for really controlled forms, like your cordons.
    Cro Magnon, I've written a couple of blog posts about how to prune apples trees, which you might find helpful? The key is to go for it and don't be scared. See
    And the other post is linked from there.


    1. Summer pruning is for controlled forms - I don't think I put that in my post. But ti can be good for creating more fruiting spurs and its a handy way of pruning stone fruit trees without them getting silver leaf (or reducing that chance anyway. Thanks for stopping by - I'll go have a look at your blog now!


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