It’s the wrong time to prune fruit trees

My biggest task in the garden I was working on in Boolarra last week was to bring to heel some rather exuberant fruit trees in an orchard that has not been pruned for quite a few years. I am not even sure all the trees are on dwarfing rootstock, so their capacity for growth knows no bounds. I chose to prune them now, the wrong time, in an attempt to knock a bit of vigour out of the growth of the trees. We will see how well that works. I will keep you updated.

Basically I cut out all the staunch upright growth with my handy little pruning saw and tidied up crossing branches and dead wood with my secateurs and loppers.

From the picture you can see it was a classic autumn day. The clippings went to the cows, who love fruit tree leaves (as well as fruit, apples in particular). The lopped branches¬†will end up in a piece of rustic fencing at ‘Clear Springs’.

Autumn Days

Autumn days are best. The sunlight has become less intense. Colours are not washed out in the garden as they were over summer. Colour comes in the flowers and the foliage, some of it new and fresh, some of it old and changing colour and soon to be gone. There is a hint of melancholy as the days shorten and the air cools in the evening earlier. But there is so much still happening in the garden that there is plenty to distract the mind from wintry thoughts.


Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans), so understated for the rest of the year comes into its own in autumn. I have it planted in a thicket of shrubs that is being strangled subtly by an ornamental grape (Vitis spp.)


And this little patch of Cosmos in the vegetable garden is from seeds I gathered last year. It has replaced the dahlias which have suffered with the drier conditions.