Midsummer pruning

Prune those unruly summer trees

Credit: Carolyn Jones

Summer growth means it’s time to start pruning

After a long cool wet spring, plants put down deep roots, and can have a growth spurt once it starts to warm up. Sometimes a fruit tree puts on so much growth that it needs to be pruned in the summertime, which is what happened to my Asian pear tree ‘Kosui’ which looked like this before I started.

A sudden profusion of growth had resulted in many long and drooping branches, and the tree had become a bush rather than an open vase-shaped fruit tree. I removed all the branches that were growing into the centre of the tree, as you get better fruit set when the tree is open to sunlight. I removed all the crossing branches to avoid injury from rubbing. My intention in pruning was to strengthen the framework of the tree to support the weight of future harvests, because those Asian pears can be heavy!