Pruning with the experts at Cross Lanes Fruit FarmBy Sally Bryant
February 01, 2013
The best way to learn to prune is to be guided by an expert and get to grips with the branches, as a keen crop of gardeners found out on Saturday.
Although there was still snow underfoot, the sun shone on Mapledurham orchards as the group honed skills guaranteed to stand them in good stead for a gardening lifetime.
Fruit Tree Pruning Days were held at Cross Lanes Fruit Farm on Saturday and on Thursday.
The courses were designed for beginners and those who had pruned before but wanted a few tips.
Farm owner Gill Franklin said on Monday: “Saturday was excellent – there was the ideal number of people so everyone could have individual attention.
“There was a mix, some people had a tree or two in the garden they had played around with for a few years and others were putting in new trees.
“But there is always something new to learn and this gives them confidence. You can read a book about pruning and get bamboozled by technical detail, but I try to explain what is going to happen in the future as well.
“Pruning isn’t one year, it’s every year.
“There was still snow underfoot but we were lucky, it didn’t rain and it was unbelievably beautiful.
“Everyone was in good spirits.”
Mrs Franklin’s husband, Dennis, bought the farm as a hobby for her in 1977, before they started a family.
It was also an ‘insurance policy’ in case he was made redundant, which did not happen.
She started growing just four varieties of apple – today the family grows more than 60 varieties of apples, plums and pears and sells the fruit in its shop and at farmers’ markets across the area.
For more information visit www.crosslanesfruitfarm.co.uk