Pruning Workshops at the Community Gardens

Each year many pruning workshops are held at the Community Garden sites. These workshops focus on fruit tree pruning to demonstrate practices to restore old trees and increase flower and fruit production. While these classes have been popular for over a decade, NCGS has recently been holding these classes at the Beaufort Park Food Forest where volunteers maintain a stand of young fruit trees. The trees provide fruit for local residents and require ongoing maintenance. NCGS and the City of Nanaimo are offering these pruning courses to all residents of Nanaimo. Here is the Activity Guide for more pruning workshops this summer in the Special Interests section. 2023SpringSunnerActivityGuide (


If you are curious about Beaufort Park and want to visit, see the map and listing on the City’s website. Beaufort Park | City of Nanaimo


Here are photos from our latest pruning workshop in November. Amidst rainy fall days, this Saturday was clear and sunny. Beaufort Food Forest volunteers were present to show the group around and suggest trees that needed attention. Attendees came to learn about how to care for young fruit trees in their early years to prevent common problems and maximize both pickability and fruit production.


The tree with orange leaves in the background is the focus for this part of the pruning workshop. It is used to demonstrate general pruning techniques common to young fruit trees.


The instructor, Scott Wiskerke, owner of Roots and Shoots Horticulture gives practical demonstrations of cutting techniques and plant growth. Scott has been running NCGS pruning workshops for many years and before that has given workshops at VIU and Green Thumb Nursery.


Scott gets up in the tree to discuss the pros and cons of specific cuts and the resulting growth next year after pruning. Everyone has opinions about what branches to remove and can see immediately the results of the cuts. The hard part is taking this knowledge back to their own trees when they are the only ones making the decisions. Learning to prune is definitely something that takes practice over many years!


The finished pear tree! Note the pruned branches on the tarp. The reduced crowding of the remaining branches will promote quicker drying in the spring to reduce the spread of fungal diseases. This is a job that will result in better fruit and more natural growth in the years to come.


Thanks Scott! Keep an eye on the City of Nanaimo’s Activity Guide for future pruning workshops. Pruning topics include Basic Fruit Tree Pruning, Advanced Fruit Tree Pruning (for those who have some basic knowledge and need a refresher and information on how to deal with pests and diseases in our climate), Summer Pruning (an excellent time to prune for most stone fruits in our region), Restoring Old Fruit Trees (when you’ve inherited an old, overgrown fruit tree that needs pruning over a few years to bring it back into healthy production) and this course, Pruning Young Fruit Trees. Trees covered in the workshops include apples. pears, figs, plums, grape vines and other fruit trees that attendees are interested in. Classes are $20 and people often attend year after year as they gain knowledge and have new and interesting problems with their trees.

Comments are closed.