Pruning Days

Long pruningThe first thing we did when we moved here ten years ago was planting hedges and windbrakes. About 1500 hawthorn and small trees on our 1 hectare plot. The hedges do need pruning, however, to avoid them getting too big and competing with our crops for light, water and nutrients. Also some of the small trees have already been coppiced and supplied our first very small batch of firewood.

On the picture, Pete is pruning one of our field boundary hedges. Taking large chunks out of the hedge like here on the picture is called long pruning, opposed to short pruning or clipping like with normal 'formal' hedges. Long pruning only needs doing every other year and allows the plants to grow out naturally and bear flowers and fruit. Clipping is best done twice or more a year.