Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:34 pm
Location: London

Wild fruit trees

I recently bought some woodland and on it are several fruit trees. This includes some wild cherry trees and a very tall pear tree. These don't look like they have ever been pruned and are quite out of control, but are producing lots of fruit.

My problem is the land is very steep, and the trees are very tall and it is too dangerous to go up a ladder to get to the fruit. What I would like to do is to get the fruit to grow lower down so I can reach it. Is it possible to shorten mature trees like these, the pear is about 25 feet tall with a trunk of about 1 foot, the cherry is about 40 feet tall with a trunk of about 2 feet. The cherry in particular produces bucket loads of fruit, but I can only reach the lower branches.

Any advice welcome.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Hi Jivah

I'm afraid that it would be a very diificult task to shorten both of these trees
Once either of these two get really out of hand they are a devil to bring down again.

If you do want to have a go then I would suggest that you try it over two or three years.
Reduce one of the major uprights back down to the lowest growth that is still healthy.
Paint the resulting cut with a good quality fungicide paint.
Do not cut any branch lower than the an existing branch or new growth.
Pear and cherry of this size do not regenerate easily from dormant buds , so it has to be a slow patient job.
Old apple trees can be reduced quite drasticaly as the dormant buds on them regenerate easily....pear and cherry.. not so good.
If the branch/shoot left after the cut grows away well then you can proceed with the other branches.....if not..then no major harm done.

An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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