I prune Fruit Trees too.
This is an Apple, post pruning and is a good example of how a fruit tree should look post-surgery. I managed to get it in good overall shape. Crossing branches have been removed and the centre is open to allow light to get in. Don’t forget – Apples and pears – prune Autumn and Winter. Cherry and Plum are different, however. Always prune when actively growing so May onwards – never in Winter! Why? Fruit trees with a stone in the fruit are susceptible to an airborne fungus called Silver Leaf which will kill it. Leave open wounds when the tree is dormant, the fungus gets hold and the tree in its winter dormancy is unable to fight the infection.
This brute didn’t start out as a hedge. Its John had a small garden with a Leylandi – 7m wide and just under 3 stories tall. It was simply huge and completely blocked out any light. We had to dismantle it section by section to avoid demolishing the fences and pedestrians underneath turning it into a more manageable hedge which still afforded some privacy from the neighbours.