This week’s pruning tip is about the difference between leaf buds and fruit buds – a very useful thing to know before you start making any cuts, to make sure you don’t accidentally remove all the fruit buds with overzealous pruning.
Generally speaking, fruit buds are plumper and furrier than leaf buds, which tend to be slim, flat and smooth. Peaches and nectarines are probably the easiest to see – the photo below shows some lovely fat and furry peach fruit buds.
Peaches often have a triple bud, with a skinny leaf bud in the middle flanked by two fruit buds either side, as you can clearly see in the photo below.
The buds look a bit different on every fruit type, so it can be harder on some trees to tell the difference.
In these photos of pears above and below, the red arrows indicate fruit buds, and the blue arrows are pointing to leaf buds.
So before you start your pruning, have a close look at the buds until you feel confident you can identify the fruit buds, make sure you don’t cut them all off, and if you need extra support download our Pruning Mature Fruit Trees short online course.