Monty Don says you must pick fruit trees in June – for a very important reason

The trusted gardner's tips will ripen our produce and make our tree healthier for the rest of the year – but we need to act fast

Monty Don's fruit tree tips, June Drop
(Image credit: Photo by Nathan Hulsey on Unsplash)

BBC's Gardener's World presenter Monty Don has improved our garden ideas and planting habits throughout the entire year – but now he's tackling the biggest problem of the minute – the June Drop.

However, before we learn how to tackle the June Drop, we need to figure out exactly what it involves and why it occurs this month. According to Monty, the June Drop occurs when your fruit tree (typically apple or pear trees) suddenly loses hundreds of small fruits, which fall to the ground.

'You might feel something is going horribly wrong, but this is perfectly normal and known as the 'June Drop,' Monty explains in his blog

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Monty Don’s fruit tree tips for June

(Image credit: Colin McPherson / GettyImages)

The drop occurs this month as it may be the period before the leaves have completely expanded, and they are competing for limited energy. If the tree is low on energy, then it will drop fruit more frequently. 

Plus, as the nights begin to feel warmer in June, the extra respiration in a dark climate will use more energy – causing even more fruit to drop.

'The tree is just reducing the quantity of fruit they carry in order to successfully ripen those that remain. However, it is indiscriminate about which fruit it lets go, so it is a good idea to selectively remove the smallest fruit at this time of year before the tree does it for you,' Monty shares. 

Monty Don’s fruit tree tips for June

(Image credit: Photo by Anna Kaminova on Unsplash)

How should we pick fruit to bear the June Drop? 

Monty suggests getting ahead of the June Drop by reducing 'each cluster on a spur to just two fruits that are not touching each other.' This will allow the leftover fruit to grow and ripen healthier, and limit branch damage, as the 'weight of the fruit later in the year is greatly reduced.'

'With all fruit that is to be eaten rather than juiced, quality is much more important than quantity. You can always buy average apples, but if you grow them yourself, then you should always aim for them to be as good as possible,' Monty adds. 

Monty Don’s fruit tree tips for June

(Image credit: Photo by Ana Essentiels on Unsplash)

So, while it may feel hard to remove healthy fruit from our favorite trees, we're trusting Monty's expertise and sleeping safely in the knowledge that it will benefit the fruit in the long run, and that’s among the most important garden plant ideas to remember this month. 

Plus, for more handy tips, check our gardening for beginners piece that goes through everything you need to know. But the first (unwritten rule) is that we will never argue with Monty.  

Megan Slack