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Pruning an apple or pear tree can be daunting for many gardeners. Rather than be put off completely or panic and inadvertently harm the tree back by excessive pruning, instead try our easy guide and enjoy a well-shaped, productive tree.
Apple tree in garden
Have you inherited an apple or pear in the garden but haven't a clue what to do with it? Or planted a fruit tree but been too scared to do any pruning? If yes, this page is for you.
Prune your apple or pear tree in winter, when the leaves are off the tree.
Before getting started, remember;
If you're feeling more confident or think your tree is badly neglected and might need more drastic action, see our pages on winter pruning, winter regulated pruning and renovation of apples and pears.
Hopefully, if you stick to our five tips above, not too much will go wrong.
But getting up close and personal with your fruit tree might mean you spot other problems so here's what to do if you find;
Apples and pears: summer pruning
Apples and pears: growing and training as cordons
Apples and pears: pruning new trees
Apples and pears: renovating old trees
Apples and pears: winter regulated pruning
Apples: identifying fruit buds
Espalier training trees
Fan-trained trees: initial pruning
Fan-trained trees: established pruning
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In this fully revised edition, you’ll find updated advice by the RHS experts on what, when and how to prune.
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.