apple pruning course (winter) – winter pruning – 1 day

see also summer pruning course

We have made some changes to our Course Program – please see our Course Update page for more information.

date: 25 Jan 2025
overview: Learn how to restore and maintain trees, both apples and pears, that have “got away”.
The aim of winter pruning is to establish the basic structure of the tree, reduce overcrowding, encourage it to make new growth in a controlled way and produce fewer, larger fruit from healthier, well-pruned trees.
The course will be at Bore Place and start with an examination of old and overgrown trees to learn how to develop a pruning “road map” to get matters back under control.
These trees will then be compared with trees where the renovation pruning has been commenced to see how progress develops.
There will be plenty of opportunity for you to get “up close and personal” with the target trees and gain valuable hands-on experience of the whole pruning process.
start time: 9.30am tea/introductions for 10am start
lunch: approx 1pm – 2pm
please bring a packed lunch. Hot drinks will be provided.
finish time: approx 4pm
cost: £100 per person
tutor: Mike Whiddett
cancellations: we will provide a full refund if you cancel your place more than 14 days in advance of the course start date. Please note that we will be unable to refund your course fee or transfer you to another course if you cancel your place less than 14 days before the start of the course.
what to wear: Wear sturdy shoes or boots at all times. Please also wear warm, comfortable clothes that are suitable for the current weather conditions. You will be outside for most of the course.
course size: maximum of 8 participants
what to bring: all tools and materials will be provided, but please feel free to bring along any interesting tools, or tools you would like to know how to sharpen!
how to book: Booking Form
location: Courses and volunteer days are held at Bore Place, between Edenbridge and Sevenoaks, Kent. Bore Place is an environmental and educational charity on a 500 acre organic dairy farm, set in beautiful low weald countryside. Converted farm buildings and a Jacobean Manor House offer accommodation if required, with walks and local pubs to enjoy when you’re not wooding! Directions will be sent to you once you’ve booked on a course and can also be accessed from the Workshop Directions Page.
accommodation:Depending on availability, there are cottages to rent on site for £185 per night (minimum of 2 nights). It is essential that you contact Bore Place in advance to book accommodation. Please call 01732 463255 or email
There are also two beautiful yurts and two cosy shepherds huts on site - see Free Range Glamping for more information.
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John Waller, Underwoodsman
Average rating:  
 12 reviews
 by Helen
Winter Pruning

An excellent hands on day which gives you confidence to tackle your own apple and pear trees. Both Mike and John were enthusiastic, patient teachers with a wealth of knowledge. Would recommend attending the Summer Pruning course as well.

 by John and Michelle
We came, we sawed, we conquered !

Had a great day. We have our own gardening business and have avoided pruning fruit trees as seemed so complex. Mike and John were both informative, kind and incredibly patient and we now feel we have the required knowledge to get into our clients’ orchards whether they want us to or not ! Seriously, thoroughly recommended and worthwhile.

 by Gerry
Excellent course

I recommend doing both winter and summer pruning courses as there is nothing to beat actually getting some hands on experience once the background has been explained and some trees inspected. You can also bring questions that have arisen along to your second course. While the work is on apple trees, the rules apply to any pip fruit and in addition to that you can get some advise on pruning stone fruits so that you don't do it wrong and kill them. There is also advise on tool sharpening at the end of the day.

 by Rachel
An excellent day

I learnt a huge amount, beyond what I expected, and came away feeling enthused about the tasks ahead. I would definitely attend other courses.

 by Alan Oakley`
Pruning apple and Pear trees

A great day with loads of knowledge transferred. I feel confident that I could get my apple trees into shape and prune my new trees, Many thanks John and Mike

 by terry kilsby
apple pruning

Hi John and Mike,
The apple pruning course was very enjoyable, I picked up a lot of Knowledge and I feel confident to tackle my own trees, with my new silky saw! and will be booking a future course with you shortly. Thank you for a great day.

 by Gia

A big thank you to Mike and John for Saturday and demystifying apple tree pruning. Excellent tuition in the morning and then being able to put what we learnt into practice in the afternoon under your very patient guidance was really helpful. I have signed up for summer pruning day and an looking ofhforward to it.

 by Alexandra

Peter and I hugely enjoyed your pruning course on Saturday. The structure and content was just about right with Mike giving us the ‘why’ in the morning and getting us to do the ‘how’ in the afternoon. His guidance and encouragement when it came to lopping off fairly large limbs was invaluable. The course has given Peter and me the much-needed confidence to go ahead more boldly with pruning our own apple trees. Perhaps somewhere a bit warmer to retreat to for lunch on a cold day would have been appreciated but I know that that’s a work in progress. We aim to come back for the summer pruning course.

 by Gary Martin
Very enjoyable day

Just to say how much I enjoyed the Winter Pruning Course and learned enough to give me the confidence to "attack" my unruly apple trees. All principle I learnt have now gone into what I hope will become better cropping trees. Many thanks !!

 by chris
Very informative day

I have a few fruit trees in my garden. I have never known the first thing about tree pruning so I attended John's winter pruning course recently. I learned a great deal in the one day course. There were around ten attendees. We were given some very useful advice and tips in the morning which we were allowed to put to practical use in the afternoon! Those wise words, "dead, dying, diseased and crossed" will remain with me! Despite the cold weather, it was a fun day and highly recommended. Since my return I have tended my own trees and those of my daughters.

Thank you Chris...glad you enjoyed the course.

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