Barrie Agar, head gardener at Royal Roads University, prunes a 100-year-old pear tree at the university’s walled garden. The B.C. Fruit Testers is hosting a free workshop on summer pruning at RRU on Saturday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to noon. (Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff)

Hands on demonstration with summer pruning tips at Royal Roads

B.C. Fruit Testers event addresses growing concerns in Colwood

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

If you want to harvest some free advice on how to take care of your fruit trees, an event this weekend won’t leave you out on a limb.

The B.C. Fruit Testers Association is holding a workshop Saturday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to noon at Royal Roads University to offer hands on experience on summer pruning and how to increase yields and maintain tree sizes.

The emphasis is on dwarf fruit trees, container trees and espaliered trees, which grow on walls, vines or other backgrounds, said Barrie Agar.

Agar, the head gardener at RRU, has been a member of the B.C. Fruit Testers Association for more than 18 years. “You can actually get quite a bit of fruit off of a container tree,” she noted.

“Apples, pears and now genetically dwarfed peaches thrive in containers.” The workshop will also include budding demonstrations, a form of grafting for propagation, Agar added.

Participants can feel free to bring their pruners and gloves, if they prefer.

Follow the signs through the main entrance off of Sooke Road to the Mews car park, which accepts cash or credit card.

The B.C. Fruit Testers Association is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1987 by Frank Kirby and Brent Warner to educate people in the growth and care of fruit trees. For more information, check out

Barrie Agar, head gardener at Royal Roads University, does a chip budding on a blue Pearmain. (Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff)


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