Pruning Apples and Pears by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

The Quick Guide to Winter Pruning

If in doubt…Don’t! Well, you have to agree, that was quick. But I think we can do better than that. Apples and pears will quite often fruit reasonably well if you just leave them alone but they will get to a stage where overcrowding of branches and disease will cut down the on the reason we grow them; the fruit.

Why do we prune? We need to prune to encourage fruiting ‘spurs’, clear out any dead or diseased wood and generally shape the tree to an attractive form. We’ve all seen children’s drawings of trees, generally a cup on a leg, and for ordinary bush forms, which is what we shall deal with here, that’s not far off the ideal.

Stand back and take a good look at your tree. Is it the shape you want? Does it interfere with paths, buildings etc? Don’t be afraid to tackle it, you’re the boss!

Taking out branches which cross over the middle of the cup is a good idea as it keeps the air moving through the tree when it’s in full leaf and helps to prevent fungus diseases. If your tree has several branches in this position remove only one or two each winter as a severe removal of a large mass of branches will result in the tree producing a lot of compensating growth the next year and very little fruit. The same goes for branches which need to come out to improve the shape. Remove any branches which are diseased or have died back to where you are sure the growth looks clean.

RULE 1. Stagger removal of large branches over several winters.

RULE 2. Cut cleanly, using a pruning saw or good loppers, leaving a very small ‘stub’, which should heal over by itself.

Now come in close and look at one major branch at a time to assess it’s fruiting ability. Most varieties produce fruiting spurs which are clusters of small, knobbly twigs with fat flower buds on.(Growth buds tend to be thinner and pointed) What you are aiming for is a framework of  branches with a good coverage of spurs.

Example: Apple tree pruning – avoid taking too much off!

What you may have are branches covered with lots of whippy growth about 6 to 12 inches long (showing my age there I’m afraid!), these will need to be shortened to two buds long, in other words  where two leaves were in the summer. If  it is very crowded you may need to remove some altogether, spacing them out along the branches about 5 to 6 inches apart is good. These will then start to produce flower buds over the next summer.

RULE 3. Shorten small whippy growth to encourage fruiting spurs.

This is a much simplified guide to winter pruning but it gives you the basics to tackle your fruit trees, if you decide to pursue this topic further there are many good books available or call in an expert, we’ve been keeping trees performing well for years!

Word of Caution – If someone comes to prune your fruit trees with a chainsaw, show them the gate… If that’s what they need then they’re taking off too much!

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight COVID-19 Statement – Update 23.11.20

COVID-19

Tim Brayford Landscapes would like to reassure our clients that we have taken appropriate precautions to minimise the risk of spreading the disease through our activities and continue to remain open for business as usual within current constraints.

With the risk of new lockdowns we are already pressing ahead with our seasonal planting schemes and anticipate progressing our garden design work within the constraints of any new restrictions although delivery times may be lengthened.

We are confident that we will be able to continue to manage the impact that any further developments with COVID-19 will have on our day-to-day operations both on and off the Isle of Wight. If however you have any concerns at all please  get in touch.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight COVID-19 Statement – Update 5.11.20

Its never too soon to plan a garden makeover

COVID-19

Tim Brayford Landscapes would like to reassure our clients that we have taken appropriate precautions to minimise the risk of spreading the disease through our activities and continue to remain open for business as usual within current constraints.

Planning a future garden

With the risk of new lockdowns we are already pressing ahead with our seasonal planting schemes and anticipate progressing our garden design work within the constraints of any new restrictions although delivery times may be lengthened.

Raised beds

We are confident that we will be able to continue to manage the impact that any further developments with COVID-19 will have on our day-to-day operations both on and off the Isle of Wight. If however you have any concerns at all please  get in touch.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight COVID-19 Statement – Update 2.11.20

COVID-19

Tim Brayford Landscapes would like to reassure our clients that we have taken appropriate precautions to minimise the risk of spreading the disease through our activities and continue to remain open for business as usual within current constraints.

Planning a future garden

With the risk of new lockdowns we are already pressing ahead with our seasonal planting schemes and anticipate progressing our garden design work within the constraints of any new restrictions although delivery times may be lengthened.

We are confident that we will be able to continue to manage the impact that any further developments with COVID-19 will have on our day-to-day operations. If however you have any concerns at all please  get in touch.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

A Garden in Winter by Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight

 

Tim Brayford Landscapes – A snowy Garden

“O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth.”
–  John Davies, 1570-1626,  Ode to the West Wind

The garden in winter can seem to be a bit of a quiet place with not much appearing to be  going on, but with a little forethought and careful planning it can become quite busy.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Winter flowering Snowdrops

Winter flowering shrubs such as Winter Jasmine and Mahonia Japonica provide seasonal blooms, Daphne mezereum Rubrum is particularly fragrant. The evergreen leaves of Viburnum Tinus and Ilex aquifolium Golden van Tol provide some structure along with the vivid orange red berries found on Pyracantha hybrida Mohave or even the bright turquoise blue berries found on Viburnum Davidii. Colourful stems may be found on Dogwoods such as Cornus Alba Sibirica Westonbirt and Willows such as Salix Alba vitellina, both of which may be cut back to create fresh shoots in the spring.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Vivid Dogwoods

Hardy Cyclamen are early bloomers and Snowdrops will soon be making their presence known. In milder areas early Daffodils such as February Gold are harbingers of the approaching spring , whilst in the herbaceous border the Christmas Rose Helleborus Niger is an early flowerer.

A good starting point is to observe your garden on a reasonably bright winter’s day, walk around it and see if the general structure or any vistas may be improved, don’t forget to take into account what may be seen from indoors as well.

Wintery weather brings wild birds like these Pheasants into the garden

Do not be afraid to replace ailing plants or those that have become too vigorous and any that have otherwise disappointed you. Look out for carelessly discarded litter and items such as garden furniture that have decayed past the point of usefulness and now just look plain ugly. It is all too easy to overlook these sort of things and spoil the appearance of an otherwise beautiful garden.

Tim Brayford Landscapes – Frosty Fern

Make an action plan for what you are seeking to achieve in your garden, it can be very useful to record you observations in a notebook for future reference, especially if you intend to spread your improvements over several seasons. When this is done you will be best placed to proceed to putting your plans into action.

For more advice and stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight COVID-19 Statement – Update 24.10.20

A nut hunting red squirrel heralds the arrival of autumn

COVID-19

Tim Brayford Landscapes would like to reassure our clients that we have taken appropriate precautions to minimise the risk of spreading the disease through our activities and continue to remain open for business as usual within current constraints. With the risk of new lockdowns we are already pressing ahead with our seasonal planting schemes .  We are still taking bookings for winter pruning and hope that this will go ahead unhindered by any further restrictions.

Autumnal colours on this dogwood.

We are confident that we will be able to continue to manage the impact that any further developments with COVID-19 will have on our day-to-day operations. If however you have any concerns at all please  get in touch.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight COVID-19 Statement – Update 28.9.20

An abundant crop of crab apples

COVID-19

Tim Brayford Landscapes would like to reassure our clients that we have taken appropriate precautions to minimise the risk of spreading the disease through our activities and continue to remain open for business as usual within current constraints. With the risk of new lockdowns we are already pressing ahead with our seasonal planting schemes including bulbs ready to flower next spring.  We are still taking bookings for winter pruning and hope that this will go ahead unhindered by any further restrictions.

Spring Bulbs

We are confident that we will be able to continue to manage the impact that any further developments with COVID-19 will have on our day-to-day operations. If however you have any concerns at all please  get in touch.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

Tim Brayford Landscapes Isle of Wight COVID-19 Statement – Update 28.9.20

An abundant crop of crab apples

COVID-19

Tim Brayford Landscapes would like to reassure our clients that we have taken appropriate precautions to minimise the risk of spreading the disease through our activities and continue to remain open for business as usual within current constraints. With the risk of new lockdowns we are already pressing ahead with our seasonal planting schemes including bulbs ready to flower next spring.  We are still taking bookings for winter pruning and hope that this will go ahead unhindered by any further restrictions.

Spring Bulbs

We are confident that we will be able to continue to manage the impact that any further developments with COVID-19 will have on our day-to-day operations. If however you have any concerns at all please  get in touch.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

Isle of Wight Garden Life 5 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

Spring Bulbs 

A successful garden will  contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of life.  It may play host to a broad range of flora and fauna enhancing local biodiversity and collectively benefiting the wider world environment by absorbing CO2. Here are just a few examples from gardens on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. 

Snowdrops

Tulips and Bluebells

Daffodils

Woodland and Bluebells

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare. We recommend starting with an initial verbal consultation followed by an illustrated written report of our proposals. Once these have been approved we are able to provide costings for the project and arrange for the construction work to commence. We work closely with our clients throughout to ensure that their new garden enhances their outdoor living experience.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918

 

 

Isle of Wight Garden Life 4 by Tim Brayford Landscapes

 Autumn Tints

A successful garden will  contribute significantly to our well-being and quality of life.  It may play host to a broad range of flora and fauna enhancing local biodiversity and collectively benefiting the wider world environment by absorbing CO2. Here are just a few examples from gardens on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere. 

Bright berries of Arum italicum

Dogwood leaves

Helenium & bee

Cyclamen

Tim Brayford Landscapes were established in 1980 and we are British Association of Landscape Industries National Award Winners for Garden Design & Construction. We have a wide experience of landscaping works ranging from the initial ideas through to making gardens and their aftercare. We recommend starting with an initial verbal consultation followed by an illustrated written report of our proposals. Once these have been approved we are able to provide costings for the project and arrange for the construction work to commence. We work closely with our clients throughout to ensure that their new garden enhances their outdoor living experience.

For more photos, advice & stories about gardening please visit our  website  email timbrayfordlandscapes@gmail.com  phone 07890 869918