Current Students Info

B.C. Fruit Testers winter pruning party

February 10, 2016
Source: Crossroads

No garden is too small for fruit trees! Learn how to prune to control size, shape, and production for both pears and apples. This free workshop will cover old and young trees, along with espaliers, gooseberries and currants.  Bring your pruners and gain some hands on experience on Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Please park at parking lot #7 by the Mews Conference Centre and Recreation Centre and walk to the glass greenhouse - building #2 on the map. There will be signage at the RRU campus entrance directing you to parking lot #7.

RRU Campus Map

Contact Barrie Agar for more information.

More pruning information:

Pruning has long had a mystique about it in that has people afraid to touch their trees and shrubs in case they "damage' it. This workshop will outline basic winter pruning techniques that will help you increase fruit production while controlling size. Dwarfing rootstocks now make it possible to have fruit trees in even the smallest garden, and while they will stay comparatively small, pruning is still necessary. They can be grown as freestanding, or espaliered, or indeed even in a pot. The first three precepts of pruning are the three D's; dead, diseased and damaged. After these are removed the tree is assessed to see its shape and branches. Age and type of rootstock will all affect the amount and severity of pruning. M9 rootstock is very dwarfing, needs staking, but encourages fruiting within a few years. M26 is semi dwarfing, still needs staking, but will give you a larger tree. The harder a deciduous tree or shrub is pruned, the stronger it will grow back. This allows us to manipulate the direction a branch will grow, and how vigorously it will grow. Knowing the difference between growth buds and flower buds is key to this. Growth buds are fatter and more silvery; flower buds are triangular, flat, and adpressed to the stem.

There are several different training methods, but overall you want space between the branches to allow light and air to reach the ripening fruit.  Pruning too hard will result in vegetative growth only, whereas too little may leave too much fruit. Balancing the number of fruit buds to vegetative bud is important- too  much fruit can "tire" a tree and cause biennial bearing.

The best way to learn how to prune is to do it, and then monitor your results. One beacon of light you can take away with you- it is seldom fatal to the tree.

B.C. Fruit Testers Association website