Neil Hutchings gave a talk on pruning deciduous trees for April’s meeting. Key things to bear in mind is that the vigour of the previous growing season dictates how much pruning can be done in Spring. It is important to ensure that new shoots have extended and leaves on younger trees have hardened off before pruning to ensure a strong response from the tree. You should cut back to 2 leaves if the internodes are short. You can however cut out excessively long internodes by cutting just below the first pair of leaves. This will force the tree to produce finer growth from the base of the shoot. Another useful piece of information was that pruning can be done after growth has hardened off (typically in late May) to get more light into the tree and to allow more energy to the weaker areas. This involves pruning one leaf in a pair off . This will not initiate a new flush of growth but will allow light to reach further into the tree. Secondly on trees which are well ramified and dense you can fold the leaves in half and cut across them. This is especially beneficial in stronger areas like the apex. This is an important technique for trees that have larger leaves such as cherry, beech and hornbeam and allows a finer ramification to be developed. Thanks to Neil for sharing his pruning knowledge and experience with us.