There was a wonderful turn out for Simon Akeroyd's apple tree pruning masterclass in the gorgeous old orchard at Lupton House last week. Participants spent the day learning various pruning techniques on open-centre bush trees, and upright spindle trees, and had the opportunity to get hands on experience too.
After an introduction by Simon on the various different reasons for pruning, and which were the best tools for the job, Simon then demonstrated the formative pruning of young trees, and the restoration of older trees that hadn't been pruned for years. The training also included looking at whip and tongue grafting and chip budding techniques of varieties. Finally there were demonstrations by Simon of the Modified-Lorrette pruning technique on restricted form of trees such as fans, espaliers, oblique cordons and step-over apple trees. Participants also had a chance to master the 3-step pruning cut on some of the larger branches.
Best of all- apart from the lovely crowd of participants, was the fact that there was a lovely lunch cooked over an open fire by the Forest School's team. And an additional bonus was that it didn't rain all day. Rare indeed for February 2020.