Pruning fruit trees and bushes  During cold winter weather deciduous trees and bushes remain dormant, so it is a good time to prune them. The idea is to remove dead and diseased wood and clear crossing branches to open the fruiting branches up.

Gooseberries and currants  To promote the growth of fruit bearing side shoots shorten this year’s growth on the main stem and long side shoots. If you want to do more, look for detailed instructions on “spur pruning”.

Apples and pears  This really needs an illustration so look for detailed instructions on “spur pruning”.

Blackcurrants  Remove about a third of the oldest stems, cutting them right down to 2.5cms above the soil. The aim is to open up the bush to light and air and promote new growth.

Plum and cherry trees  Wait until the Spring to prune.

Planting fruit bushes and trees  Late autumn/early winter, while the soil is still warm, is ideal for planting fruit trees, so that their roots get well established before the next growing season. Check with your supplier for planting guidelines.

Plant bare root raspberry, blackberry and hybrid berries in prepared sites this month.

If the roots on any bare rooted plant dry out, they will die, so plant and water them immediately. If you are not ready to plant in a permanent position dig them in somewhere temporary to keep the roots damp and alive.

Dividing Rhubarb  There is still time to lift and divide rhubarb. Enrich soil with rich organic matter, replant the divisions with two or three buds on each, then insulate with leaf mould.