July’s Fruit Tree To-Do List

Blood maple. Deciduous trees are great for leaf litter and letting in winter light.

Winter is tree planting season, so I’m including all trees, in this months to do list. Make the most of this seasonal planting opportunity! As well as planting deciduous fruit trees, get onto shelter plantings – it’s so important for your food gardens to be tucked away from big winds, and use this once a year moment to restore your land + community. With trees, of course! They’re the very best!


Plant deciduous fruit trees, nuts, berries, currants and shelter trees. Wait till spring, or atleast until risk of frost is over to plant tender citrus and other subtropicals.

Where you could fit more trees in, without blocking light to house + gardens + fruit trees + greenhouse?

  • Wet areas: don’t graze them, plant them up!
  • Stream side or river side: planting riparian strips improves water quality like you wouldn’t believe. Get onto it – our waterways desperately need our care.
  • Steep slopes also need trees. If there’s anything we can learn from recent weather events, it’s that our world is better by far when slopes are held in situ. And the very best way to do this is with trees.

If your land is tiny or you’ve fully planted every opportunity, stretch out into community planting programmes or donate to the wonderful Trees That Count.


Sharpening seceteurs pre pruning edible backyard nz

Prune berriescurrants, grapes, feijoas, avocados and deciduous fruit trees for best health and better fruits, next year.


  1. Graeme Siddle says

    Hi Kath
    My daughter in Glen Eden, Auckland has a feijoa which was badly damaged in a storm earlier this year. It has a large crack which she has bound up. Also she has done pruning of some the branches. It fruited in season and is showing new growth near the crack. I have got a photo but not sure how to attach it.
    She wants to know what she should do longterm – be radical and cut to a stump? or hope it will recover? Thanks
    Perhaps I could send the photo by email.

    • Bind and prune is perfect Graeme! The tree is showing you already its powers of regeneration. Tell her to keep her eyes on it, and trim away any overly long or out of balance growths as they reveal themselves. Thin off as many fruits as possible, as she can bear! – the less energy it puts into the fruits right now, the more energy it has for repair.
      All she need do is keep the tree well mulched – don’t go feeding it up at this time of year.
      Biological sprays (find the details on the site) will do the world of good, but really, Feijoas are hardy and will shoot away! Just watch and see!

  2. Hugh Abbiss says

    Hi Kath, I have inherited a rather overgrown/well established feijoa tree hedge. 10ft high and dense. Variable fruiting. I have begun pruning…wondering how hard I can prune it? I have thought to bring it down to 5ft approx and thin right out? Is it a problem if there are no branches with leaves left? Or best to leave some small branches with leaves for photosynthesis? Located Hawke Bay. Thanks

    • Hey Hugh you’ve got options! Its a big move to take it back so hard that there’s no foliage – but I’ve seen it done before. Hard for me to say exactly without seeing the tree. Heres a post from the Fruit Trees tab on my website. Have a read and then use it as a baseline to help you choose whether to gradually reduce the tree (my usual way) or go hard! Either way – feijoas usually are sweet. https://www.ediblebackyard.co.nz/how-to-prune-feijoas/.

  3. Hi Kath
    I have a pruning question please that I might struggle to articulate in an understandable way (!). My bare-rooted fruit trees arrived last week and I’ve planted them into grow bags and taken them back to the 1m height mark. However, a branch on my Captain Kidd was sadly damaged in transit and the damage went back into the main trunk. The nearest bud below the damage was quite far down the trunk (would have resulted in a 40cm tree) so I decided to try for a vase shape and cut it off above the branch just below the damage (60cm high). There are now only 3 branches left on the tree and they’re spaced around one half of the tree only. I’m wondering what would you advise? Keep it as it is or take it down to the 40cm bud or something else? I have limited space so need the trees I have to work well and would prefer to donate this one elsewhere and get myself another if it’s unlikely to do well. 
    Big thanks as always for sharing your wisdom (but if this message is too garbled feel free to ignore!)

    • I’m sure your tree will be fine Alana. Its often the case, this imbalance at the beginning. This coming season, new shoots will come, bringing new opportunities. Position the bag so that the side with no branches faces north, this will inspire action! Mulch with a lovely mixed woody chip and biological sprays regularly through the season. If no shoots turn up this summer to fill the gap, (though I’m sure one will!), then next spring, try notching. Details are in my pruning book and I’ll be writing about it in the August newsletter. Dont forget to send your tree confidence with plenty of encouraging thoughts. K x

Speak Your Mind