The most tedious winter gardening task – pruning trees, should be taken care of now. Make your cuts toward the outside bud. You don’t want a central leader, so get rid of it if you have one. The idea is to open the tree up. You’re looking for three to four good scaffolding branches. Cut off any suckers that have developed. Look at your tree as if it had spokes on a wheel.

For many neighbourhood yards, tree size can be a problem. If space is a problem, you can take two or even three trees, angle them out and place them in the same hole. Remove the inside branches and you’ve got three trees in a small space.

Winter pruning accelerates growth and summer pruning checks growth. In summer, after the new growth, you can top a tree straight across to keep it in check.

Another option for small-space gardeners is to consider using the espalier technique to train trees to grow against a fence line. You may purchase multi-grafted fruit trees. Some apples have four varieties, or you can get a peach, plum, nectarine and apricot- all on one tree.

Winter is a great time to re-landscape different areas of your garden. It’s a good opportunity to get ready for the spring- laying in new soil or putting in a drip system.


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