Tools and Equipment
There are 3 main bits of equipment needed for fruit pruning:
Secateurs – for smaller branches and twigs (generally less than 2cms)
- Loppers for larger branches (generally 2cm – 5cm)
- Pruning saw (generally for larger than 5cm)
Choose the best quality tools you can. Keep them sharp, as blunt blades can cause ‘tear’ damage to the cut stems. Also keep the tools clean – there are plant diseases that can be spread on tools, so wipe the blades clean with alcohol between plants – to avoid transferring plant diseases.
Basic Pruning Tips
- Aim to make the smallest wound possible as large wounds take longer to heal.
- Make cuts that are slightly angles across the stem, to avoid leaving areas where water can gather
- Make the angle of the cut as shallow as possible to avoid leaving large areas where disease can get in
- Cut just above buds, but don’t leave too long a stem, as this wood will die and can allow disease to enter the plant.
- If the bark becomes ragged or split as a result of blunt equipment, re-prune the branch below the damaged wood, having re-sharpened your blade.
- When cutting a larger branch, cut above the branch collar. This is known as ‘stub pruning’. Never cut through the branch collar or flush with the stem as this opens a larger wound than is necessary, which will allow disease to enter the plant.
- Never try to cut a branch that is too large for the tool. This will result in tearing of the bark.
- Use a knife to cut off any rough edges caused by a pruning saw. You can buy pruning knives with curved blades to ensure a precise cut.