Saturday 10 February 2018


As a kid, I remember coming home from school and some plant or other in the garden that was lookin great in the morning would have been hacked horribly, its dignity lost, possibly at risk of never coming back. That would see me fuming with my father, the perpetrator. I knew nothing about plants back then, except generically liking them. I never asked why he did that.

I went on, living my life without knowing anything about plants pretty much until I came to the UK and got my first garden.

Five years ago I was thought how to prune at Kew (mainly by Rossana Porta and Tom Freeth) and by amazing Bob Lever for the London Orchard Project. That will stay with me forever.

It got me the best compliment I could wish for: I was asked to cut a Garrya by half that was shading windows on the side of a building. After I finished, my boss said you could not tell it had been pruned at all. Oh the satisfaction!

A little bit more I learnt at Wisley with the Fruit team. And after all I took from my teachers, I have been trying to spread the word. Of course I do it for the plants!

This year, the lovely people on my new plot, the Sunnyside Allotment Society, organised for me to give a couple of demonstrations. The first one was this afternoon, in the most annoying drizzle ever experienced on the British Isles... lovely participants nonetheless, and some braved it out till the very end, too!

Proof of the miserable weather
and the patience of the participants!
Pics by Andy

Anyway, for anyone that might be interested, here are the notes from the session, and a compendium of all the pruning posts on this blog.

Natural shape fruit pruning

Fruit pruning leaflet

Using secateurs

The art and science of pruning

Some notes on where to cut

All about apple pruning

About containing a pyramid Prunus

Pole pruning for restoration, formative pruning in an orchard

Blackcurrants and big bud

Cane management


Trained fruit

Trained apple and pears

Gooseberry cordons pruning and propagation

Maintenance of a trained fig

Of spindles

Double Guyot vines

Indoors trained vines part I, part II


Cloud pruning

Even roses, if you fancy

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