Community orchard to blossom as volunteers prune trees

Transition Wilmslow held an apple tree pruning class at their community orchard in Meriton Road Park in Handforth on Saturday 21st January.

The class, led by Gavin Mendham who had previously completed a course at Reaseheath College and Chris Frankland of Frankland Tree Services, was attended by sixteen enthusiastic locals.

Pat Baker of Transition Wilmslow explained "The first thing that was observed was that the trees, which were planted four years ago, were generally in very good condition. It is obvious that the immediate community who live nearby and use the park have respected the trees and looked after them.

"It is often said that there is no absolute correct method and opinions will vary on how pruning should proceed. However, Gavin and Chris agreed on what was best for this situation and followed the principles of overcoming the three "D"s on any branch: dead, diseased or damaged. They also discussed and demonstrated how some branches can be cut away to limit problems in the future, to maximize the potential crop and to create an attractive shape."

Garry Olson of Transition Wilmslow said "Everyone was able to have a go and it was felt that a great deal of knowledge and confidence was gained. The whole orchard looked better for the attention it received."

Transition Wilmslow is a grassroots community group with the aim of building a more sustainable Wilmslow. They have three small orchards in the area and are always looking for volunteers to help occasionally. The next project is to replace three damaged apple trees in the community garden at The Temp on Gravel Lane.

There will be a working party there on Saturday 4th February at 10 am. Anyone interested in helping and being involved with the garden would be very welcome for further information email

Transition Wilmslow