Summer Pruning


  • 1717 – Samuel Collins – Paradise Retriev’d. p.43 ‘Of the Summer Pruning of Wall Pears’
  • 1779 – John Abercrombie – The British Fruit-Gardener p.45 summer pruning espaliers;
  • 1793 – John Abercrombie – The Complete Wall-Tree Pruner p.185 ‘Directions for Summer pruning all the different sorts of Wall Trees and Espaliers &c.’
  • 1789 – William Thompson – The New Gardener’s Calendar: Or, Every Man a Complete Gardener p. 49 summer pruning and nailing wall-trees.
  • 1954 – Paul Champagnat – The Pruning of Fruit Trees (trans. N. B. Bagenal) p. 19 summer pruning as a late form of pinching; p. 111-113 the consequences of summer pruning.


  • Earliest references..?
    1717 – Samuel Collins, Paradise Retriev’d.


Polarised opinion: either seen as an essential operation to control the growth of trained forms, or unnecessarily damaging to the late-season development of the tree.

Pro Summer Pruning

  • 1783 John Abercrombie: “a most necessary operation” for wall and espalier trees.

Anti Summer Pruning

  • 1954 Paul Champagnat: “Summer pruning destroys a large leaf area and a considerable quantity of reserve food supplies … if introduced into general practice, summer pruning might become very harmful” (The Pruning of Fruit Trees p. 111), followed by discussion of differences between pinching, summer pruning and Lorette pruning, albeit inconclusive.

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Detailed Technique