Stoneless fruit trees, such as apples, pears and quince, are traditionally pruned in winter, so we made the most of the first sunny day of the year to do some formative pruning in our heritage orchard. The key is to let the trees grow to a reasonable height then take off any damaged or crossing branches to create the classic goblet shape. Air needs to be able to move freely through the trees and a good test is to throw a hat through the branches. If it makes it to the other side, the pruning has been done properly! We also took off the lower branches of the trees in our orchard so that it can be under-grazed with sheep.
We’re creating what we believe will be a unique heritage orchard at FarmED, complete with all the old Oxfordshire varieties of fruit trees as well as some rare and unusual apple varieties. These include 144 apples, 35 cherries, plus apricot, damson, gage, mulberry, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, quince and nectarine.The stoned fruit trees will be pruned in summer when the sap is rising.
Huge thanks to Christine from The Kitchen Garden People for sharing her time and knowledge with us.