Over the weekend I managed to get out and prune my orchard.
It didn't take very long as the trees haven't put on much growth. Trees seem to take a while to establish in our clay soil and then when they do they grow like crazy.
|Bramley apple tree before|
I mainly removed lower branches to shape the tree and removed or reduced the upright growth. I also found a tree that had been killed by my neighbour when he mowed the grass for me in the summer. Not a big deal but I'll need to replace it fairly soon, I've a good sized tree called a winter banana growing in my nursery that might go in it's place.
|Bramley apple tree after|
|My little orchard growing|
|Sorting scion wood to go in the fridge to store until the sap starts to rise|
I also collected up a lot of these prunings to use as scion wood when I graft my trees in the spring. Yesterday me and my daughters start in front of the fire and wrapped up the scion wood with damp newspaper and then covered in cling film, each batch marked up with the variety. If anyone is going to try grafting this year let me know by email and I might have some scion wood spare for you.
Have you pruned your fruit trees yet (although not stone fruit!)?