Pruning apples this summer? Get top tips

If you’ve got apple trees, don’t forget to prune them in the summer to regulate new growth on your plants and prevent diseases.

With some help from our friends at BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, we’ve got some top tips below to help you prune in the summer months. 

What’s more, there’ll be plenty of grow your own advice and tips at the BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair from 1-3 September at Audley End House & Gardens, Essex. On the Let’s Grow Stage, you’ll find be able to make the most of your apple harvest with Sara Ward. Find out how to press apples for juice and cider, and use the pulp for jelly and wine.

Tips for summer pruning

Make sure you use the best tools for pruning – for clean cuts that heal quickly. Avoid loppers, as they can bruise the stems.

Avoid pruning fruiting spurs on your apple tree. These spurs are often short and stubby with closely spaced leaves. If your fruiting spurs are bunched too closley together, cut away the old branches to open up the branches and allow better air circulation.

Remove stems that clearly must go: anything dead, diseased or damaged, and any upright shoots growing above the top tier of branches.

Shoots that will need pruning are produced from the main branches and will have been produced this year. Cut these back to within three to four leaves of last year’s growth. The upright shoots should be around 18-23m long.


Cut just above a leaf joint, at an angle away from it. Shorten all side shoots and leave unpruned ones where needed to extend the main framework of the tree. Where shoots have developed from laterals that were pruned last year, cut this year’s growth back to one leaf.

Prune your apple tree with the aim of spacing the knobbly fruiting spurs around 10cm apart to avoid overcrowded spurs and allowing better air flow to the plant.

Don’t miss the Let’s Grow Stage at the BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair where you’ll find be able to make the most of your apple harvest with Sara Ward. Find out how to press apples for juice and cider, and use the pulp for jelly and wine.


New year, new garden, new trends!

We’re through the garden gate into 2023, with a host of gardening trends blooming throughout the country. From house plants reaching dizzying heights of popularity, to the colour of the year ‘Viva Magenta’, read on for our full list of trends.

To get up close and personal with fresh garden inspiration, new plants, the latest gardening kit and more, join us in 2023.

Colour of the Year 2023

Hand-picked by Pantone, the colour of the year has been named as ‘Viva Magenta. 

Pantone describe the colour as ‘brave and fearless, and a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.’

Discover a world of colour and scent in the stunning Floral Marquee,  bursting with award-winning nurseries and display.

Sustainable gardening

Whilst your garden might seem to already be very green, it can always be greener!

Discover ways you can make gardening more sustainable, like upcycling common items to make stylish features. What was a pallet, hessian bags, bits of pipe, and tin cans, could become a planter, grow bags, water features, and wildlife habitats.

Be inspired by the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine editorial team as they’re joined by experts to give tips and advice.

Grow your own food

Looking to go from soil to supper this year? Get brilliant advice from the National Allotment Society at the event.

Peat-free gardening

Learn about the latest peat-free compost from exhibitors who can offer face-to-face advice.

Indoor gardening

Foliage doesn’t just belong outside – bring nature indoors and be inspired by the Houseplant Hub.

Mindful gardening

Beautiful Borders returns with this year’s theme ‘My Garden Escape’ to give you space savvy ideas.

Gardening on a budget

Discover different ways you can let your garden bloom under a tighter budget, with advice from expert gardeners.

Fermented foods

Visit the BBC Good Food Summer Show (with free entry with your ticket!) and discover the latest foodie trends.

Feeling inspired? Find out what else is happening at BBC Gardeners’ World Live this June!