A Spot of Winter Pruning


Friday 30 January, 2015 by Uncle Spike

Winter pruning is yet another long-lasting task to undertake on the farm, but I don’t mind it really, and it’s pretty good exercise too. 

The main orchard of citrus trees needs annual attention to rid the centre of the tree of green shoots, overlapping branches and branches that are blocking light from getting to the centre of the tree. The inside should be like an open bowl – difficult to capture on film, but this is a clementine tree all pruned up.




In the house garden, rather than the orchards or olive groves, there is plenty to do in terms of clearing up, especially with ice-damaged plants and shrubs all over the place.






However, with my recovering rib, I’ve had to adjust some of my manual processes for dealing with larger trees…

I found that clipping with secateurs or large snips was no problem, but using the double-edged greenwood saw was fine in a downward motion, but when cutting larger branches overhead, I sussed out an ingenious new method – hold the saw arm straight, and bend the knees and perform stupid looking squat bounces in order to work the saw. I’ll tell you what though, it worked a treat in terms of reduced rib pain, but so grateful for the lack of neighbours – it must look pretty ridiculous from afar 🙂






Most shrubs like a hefty pruning back, which has the affect of stimulating strong new growth in the springtime – just a few weeks away now.






Vines also need trimming back to the second bud point, as they grow some two metres (6-7 feet) every year if left unchecked. The grape vines will be done next month, but the kiwi vines (below) have now been done for another year.




Every three years I hack back the thick stemmed ‘woody’ core of these plants and they grow like mad as a result. Where branches had grown at earth level, they tend to root off from the base quite a lot, so these are ripped out and transplanted elsewhere to fill any gaps. The rest is added to the ever-growing burn-up pile. 






5 thoughts on “A Spot of Winter Pruning

  1. […] recent tractor-type duties with shifting the wood cut from the olive trees after this year’s pruning session, our ‘Ellie’ has been back in service yet again… as you can see below […]


  2. Yvonne says:

    Well, let us all know, please. 🙂


  3. Yvonne says:

    Your sawing method for overhead branches should have given you gluteals and quadriceps of steel!


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