A group of us had an interesting workshop with Andy Howard of the Heritage Fruit Tree Company at the Green Dragon Eco Centre, near Quainton. Andy explained the history of fruit tree growing going back to the 3rd century BC; why we prune, using the ideas of Mary Spiller; the crucial difference between fruiting buds and growth buds; formative pruning; pruning old neglected trees; and the need for summer pruning as well as winter pruning.
After lunch we had a hands-on session in the orchard. A number of trees were planted in the cold weather of March 2013, and some of them have died back or died completely. The medlar tree seems to thrive on these wet conditions, however! We then moved to a group of older trees that had never been pruned before ending the workshop.
[Pictures to follow.]