It seems a daunting task for the amateur gardener, but learning how to prune a fruit tree is not as difficult as it seems. Whether you have inherited an old fruit tree or have had one for years, follow our top tips to keep it healthy and productive


Is your fruit tree looking a little worse for wear? Learn how to prune a fruit tree without calling the experts in. Though it often appears a daunting task for the amateur gardener, in actuality it is not as difficult or complicated as it seems. With a sharp pair of secateurs, a good pruning saw, a strong ladder and our top tips, you will have a productive and healthy tree again in no time.

If your fruit tree has a rotten or diseased trunk, unfortunately no amount of pruning will make it come good. Take our advice on how to plant a fruit tree so you have a harvest fit for jams, crumbles and pies again. And if you are struggling to use up a bountiful fruit harvest, The Field has plenty of recipe inspiration. Try our fruit and almond tart recipe with whatever fruit you have to hand, or learn how to make cider and juices at home.


I have fruit trees in need of care, some are old, some overcrowded. I am keen to tackle this myself without killing them. Any advice would be marvellous.
RWW, Gloucestershire

Renovation of fruit trees should be carried out in spring or summer on stone fruits and in winter on apple and pear trees. Any trees too old to fruit well and with rotten or diseased trunks and branches should be grubbed out and burned. If a tree is sound but overcrowded it can be revived with pruning and routine care. Remove branches that are dead, damaged, diseased or so low that they trail on the ground when covered in fruit. Also remove crowded or crossing branches as these shade the growing fruit. If branches rub together, remove these as well as they may be prone to canker. Once this initial pruning is over you can continue spur thinning, mulching and checking and renewing any stakes and ties if required.