Training and pruning fruit trees

Winter time is here. Cool days followed by chillier nights. In our subtropical climate, whether you are in Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast, it is a great time to get out and enjoy the sunshine in the garden and get some of the heavy duty task complete, like establishing new garden beds, while it is still cool. As well as get everything ready for the beginning of spring and summer. In winter here at van Veen Organics we also do our supportive pruning for all deciduous and citrus plants.

We call it supportive pruning because we believe that the training a fruit trees is most important and that the pruning is secondly and acts to support the training we are doing. Training and supportive pruning is more important than just doing pruning by itself. Proper training reduces the amount of pruning you have to do each year by up to 80% in some varieties while also helping the maintain long term health, vigor and improved fruit production over the life of the trees. So for any growers of stonefruit, pomegranates, figs, mulberries and grapes now is the time to either start looking into training and to prune while these species are dormant for the winter. T

his time is also good for dealing with citrus plants as the sun isn’t so intense and unlikely to cause sunburn damage. Pruning now will give them time to put out new protective foliage before the hotter weather. Remember do not take off more the 1/3 when pruning, if more is required pick your battle with the most important limbs and plan to do the others next time. If you have an older tree that has been let go stage the recovery pruning over a few years. We also like to get back what we have taken so we give the plants some fertiliser after the prune to help with the recovery and provide some of the nutrients that we took away with the pruning.