Pruning here, pruning there, pruning in the heat, the cold and the fall, it feels as if we are always pruning. Well, it is that or let the trees grow tall and unwieldy. And now, for Autumn, it's not a big prune that is needed, just enough to keep the fruit trees at a manageable height.
It is best to do this about 2 -3 weeks after you have taken the fruit off the trees, but if it has been longer than that don’t worry, pruning now will still help. We have not harvested our apples yet, as they are still a little green, but it is getting close, and I should be able to share the results of our endeavours with you in the next few weeks.
Pruning now will give the tree a longer period to settle before its next flowering, meaning that it has more chance of producing more flowers and therefor fruit, rather than putting its energy into branches and leaves. For now, it is enough just to cut the summers growth down to within easy reach. You can leave the thinning-out of the centre of the tree until winter, when the leaves have gone and it is easier to get in and see what is happening.
While you are there, you can also remove any easily accessible deadwood, so that is anything that has a dark tip and is brown and dry inside. If you can hear it snap, it is dead. And also, while you are trimming, tear any suckers out, as close to the root zone as possible.
On the other hand, citrus trees are still active this time of the year, and they will be hungry, especially if underplanted, which is not recommended as those plants will compete with the fibrous roots of the citrus. Yellowing leaves are a giveaway for hungry trees, although it could mean too much water retention also.
So have a look and give them a feed of organic fertiliser. You are unlikely to see immediate results, but they will appreciate the feeding.
Enjoy, it may be getting colder, but the colours are beautiful.