We did the pear tree first. The ridiculous bottom branch has finally come off too – not all the way, but back to the point where it changes direction. Some other branches have been shortened and anything that was pointing inward has come off. We’re trying to open up the middle. Some of the branches look a little close still, but I’ll give them a year to see how they grow.

I think we’ve done good renovation work on the tree this year, aiming to remove no more than 25% of it.

  • A big branch at the top, which I noticed left after last year’s pruning, has now gone
  • A long bottom branch has been cut off. It went downwards from the start, and which was part of what was being leaned on by the stake.
  • The middle of the goblet shape has really opened up. We took off anything pointing inwards or downwards.
  • Vertical stalks inside the goblet have been chopped.
  • We took about a third off the longest vertical branches at the top of tree, cutting above buds that pointed outwards.

There are now several places where we could throw a pigeon through the tree. Next year we can look for anything that’s reacted over-vigorously, anything else pointing the wrong way, any branches overfilling the open goblet shape. Some branches that have curved upwards on the back fence side may need to be removed or shortened next year.

I did a bucketful of cutting down as well, where lots of plants have died back and have new growth at the bottom. The flax has finally given up, but I don’t know how much it will have self-seeded. The yarrow is starting to wake up and there’s even some flower on it. I’ve no idea if the donated perennials in the front bed have survived. They’ve looked like dead sticks this entire time, but are still firmly in the ground, so I’ll give them more time.