Friday 6 September 2013

Training an apple tree my way - UPDATED

Welcome to my new follower, Meg.

Many years ago, my all time favourite gardener, Geoff Hamilton, showed us how to festoon train fruit trees. I did it with one of my pears and it has worked well. A few years ago, we decided to buy a Bramley apple tree, it has been a monster ever since. We got it on completely the wrong root stock for our sized garden and every couple of years, we give it a short back and sides.

For the past two years however, we have had little to no fruit, due to no blossom. I finally found out that it is a tip bearing fruit tree and my constant pruning was cutting off its fruiting buds. Ah well, we live and learn.

In spring this year I began to pull down new branches and weigh them down. Sometimes I used bottles with water
Other times small rocks or bits of brick, tied on with string (these were popped into pop socks recently to overwinter)
Or gravel in said pop socks
Some of the heavier branches were lopped off - no doubt making it panic and send out loads more!
Here it is almost ready to go through the winter. We currently have 12 branches weighed down. I'm sure I can't tie many more down as they are now too stiff. I think the best thing to do is prune off all the remaining branches and tie some more down next Spring.
Sorry folks, forgot to say I have updated my Walks II page.


  1. Hi Dc...we have just bought a house in the country 4 weeks ago...hubs is a horticulturist....and I can't tear him away from our espaliered orchard,which he says has not been pruned properly and he has already added a cherry and apricot and constructing a hen shed...phew.....he's in heaven!!

  2. Guess you won't be seeing much of him for a while then:o)


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