Episode 342. Pruning Stone fruit trees

In today's podcast, I am talking about pruning fruit trees. In the diary section, I have also removed a tree from the front of our house.

A full transcript of the podcast is available below.

The diary

This weeks diary section cobvers what I ahve been up to over the weekend including

  • Removing a tree
  • Securing plants
  • removing lettuce

And much more in the podcast

Pruning stone fruit trees.

Its that time of year when its best to prune stone fruit trees and in this podcast I talk you along how I go about pruning my cherry tree as I carry out the task.

Why do we do it at this time of year?

Why do we prune our stone fruit trees?

How do we do it?

All answered in this podcast

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Episode 342 Transcript


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Hello and welcome to episode 342 of the veg grower podcast. My names Richard and I am on a mission to grow as much food as I can in my allotment and modern victory garden today is Monday the 29th June 2020 and Coming up a little later on I shall be discussing summer pruning our fruit trees but first we have the diary section with what I have been up to over the weekend.

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Its Saturday the 27th June 2020 and today I have been busy in the front garden despite having some heavy showers and very windy weather. You may remember a few weeks ago when I had my wife on the podcast she mentioned this tree in our front garden that she wanted gone.

I’ve no idea what the tree is and actually we quite liked the tree it self unfortunately it was right outside our front door and in the wrong place. If we walked outside our door we would hit our heads on the branches. It also was not an edible tree which for me meant it had to go as hard as it is.

Well today we decided to cut it down so armed with my battery chainsaw, which I love, we chopped it down and into small pieces to season before burning on our fireplaces. I don’t use chemicals and its not feasible to dig out the roots because of where it is so we have left the stump which I know can annoy some people but It’ll rot eventually.

In its place I have placed my olive tree which is edible and attractive.

I have had this olive tree for a number of years. I don’t get much in the way of olives from it but I do reckon with a bit of care and perhaps in its new position it might do a lot better in terms of providing us with Olives.

We will keep an eye on that and report back in the future.

So that’s what I have been doing today

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Its Sunday the 28th June 2020 this morning I popped down to the allotment quickly to water the greenhouse but also to prune my cherry trees. Now I will be talking about that a bit later on so I wont go into to much detail with that just yet.

I'm now back at home and something I have noticed is that my turmeric plant has started growing again. I grow turmeric as an indoor plant and I have to admit I’m not so good at looking after indoor plants as I am as outdoor plants but turmeric is something I do grow. hadn't seen any signs of life at was beginning to think it had died but just this weekend a stem has sprouted and its now 6 inches tall which I am pleased with. I believe it might be triggered by the daylight length I’m not sure I shall have to look into it to find out but I am pleased it is now growing.

After that I headed outside and tended to my lettuce both growing in the ground and in my vegepod. As these are all beginning to bolt its time to remove them which I have now done. The ones in the ground I am going to plant some of my other plants in a few days time once I have worked out whats going in but my vegepod I will be sowing more salad leaves on Wednesday which is my way of continually growing salad leaves and it works well for me. If you don’t know I split my vegepod in half and alternate side I sow fresh seed into each month which provides us with plenty of salad leaves.

After that I then went around tying in and securing many of my plants. As plants grow they need tying into the canes of course but some of these canes and my apple tree has been blown over in this strong wind this weekend. All of which have now been put back into position and secured. Fingers crossed it wont happen again.

Well that's what I have been up to today and that will be it for the the diary section so Ill hand you back to the podding shed but don’t forget to let me know what you have been doing in your own allotment and garden.

Birds tweet

Well its been a pretty good weekend here although very interesting weather. Unfortunately I have nothing for today being Mondays diary as I have been out for the day visiting a friend. But what I do want to say is that as we are now doing the podcast 3 days a week I will only be releasing the diary section on Mondays. Bit more like how we used to do the podcast pre Covid.

Now its that time of the year when we might be starting to look at Pruning our fruit trees so to find out more I went down the allotment with my pruning tools to prune my fruit trees.

Usually I prune most of my trees in the winter when they are dormant. This lets me see what I am doing at what needs pruning much more easily. However there are some trees that its better to prune in the summer and these are my stone fruit trees such as cherries or peaches.

The main reason we prune in the summer months instead of the winter like normal is so we can avoid catching silver leaf disease which is a particularly nasty infection and could kill my trees.

I need to prune my trees for several reasons. The main reason is to allow light and air get to the fruit. I also want remove the old wood in order to promote new growth and produce a better crop next year. I want to tidy up the shape of the tree and I want to remove any dead or diseased brunches

To do this I have a sharp pair of secateurs which is all I generally need but a sharp saw might be useful for any thicker brunches. I also like to keep my tools clean by dipping them in disinfectant every now and then as a way of preventing the spread of disease. I also have some organic tree wound seal which at this time of year is particularly useful.

So in front of me I have my cherry tree which is full of fruit this year and produced well. By rights I should give this a coupe of weeks after harvesting all cherries to recover before pruning but for this podcast I am going to demonstrate how I go about it. Cherries tend to fruit on wood that is a year old or more so what grows back this year might not produce anything this year but will the following yer.

Firstly I will cut back any dead or diseased wood and I want to remove as much of that as possible so maybe taking it right back back to near main trunk of the tree where you get a brunch collar which is a slightly wider part of the brunch we would cut just past that flare. This just minimises the size of the cut. Fortunately I don’t have any on this tree that fit into that category but  you have a tree that is trained to a shape or against the wall you might want to prune in order to maintain the shape. In the way I have just described.

Next I would look at any brunches that cross again I don’t have any of those but if I did I would be removing these next in the same way as I just described. But what I do have is lots of brunches that are growing where I don’t want them. Either blocking paths or getting to tall as we have height limits here on the allotment. These ones I am going to prune back and all I do with these is cut the brunches back by ab out a third. I try and get the cut at an angle in the cut so that any water runs off and doesn't sit on the cut.

 Its always scary pruning anything but its a case of remembering it's for the best. So ill make a few cuts and then I shall stand back. And check I am happy with how it looks. Which yes, I am so that has completed this job.

So now I want to make sure we don’t risk any infections on this tree. now I have done this task. At this time of year, the tree will produce sap and seal the would itself. But where I can I still like to dab on a bit of would seal. Especially on the bigger cuts and this just creates a seal over the wound. Stopping any infection getting into the tree. I just paint this on and it's done and with that, that is my cherry tree now pruned.

Now the clippings. We could use as cutting to grow more plants from of course if we wanted to increase our stocks. This isn't something I want to do today. So instead, I will just put all my clipping’s into the compost bin and turn into compost. So that's left to do now is to clean my tools and pack them away.

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Well that's how I prune my cherry tree but how do you go about it yourself? Get in touch and let me know. You can email me Richadr@theveggrowerpodcast.co.uk

Don’t forget to visit the website at theveggrowerpodcast.co.uk or find me on social media. Thank you for listening today. I'll be back on Wednesday. Where we will be discussing building sheds and what seeds to sow in July. So till then please take care and ill speak to you then.

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