New Fruit Tree Workshops at UBC

Container Growing of Espalier Fruit Trees on Your Deck

Saturday April 25 2015, 10:00 am – 3:00pm
UBC Botanical Garden
Cost: $55.25 members, UBC students & UNA; $65.00 public

Learn how to grow tree fruits in containers, and to turn trees into creative espalier designs for your deck or backyard.

Tree Fruit Organic Pest Control

Saturday May 2 2015, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
UBC Botanical Garden, Reception Centre
Cost: $29.74 members, UBC students & UNA; $35.00 public

Having pest or disease troubles with your fruit trees? Learn tips and tricks to manage your trees the organic way.

Espalier Tree Fruit Spring Training and Blossom Thinning

Saturday May 2 2015, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
UBC Botanical Garden, Reception Centre
Cost: $29.74 members, UBC students & UNA; $35.00 public

Pinch, nick and notch? Gain hands-on training of how to espalier apple and pear trees when trees in your garden as they develop new shoots, blossoms and small fruit.

Apple & Pear Fruit Thinning and Bagging

Saturday June 6 2015, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
UBC Botanical Garden
Cost: $29.74 members, UBC students & UNA; $35.00 public

Interested in increasing the fruit size of your fruit trees? Learn tips and tricks for thinning and managing fruit loads.

Espalier Summer Pruning and Tree Training

Saturday June 6, 2015, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
UBC Botanical Garden, Reception Centre
Cost: $29.74 members, UBC students & UNA; $35 public

Explore tips and tricks for pruning and training your trees to grow decorative plants suitable for small spaces.

Summer Grafting of Tree Fruits

Saturday August 15, 2015, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
UBC Botanical Garden, Reception Centre
Cost: $29.74 members, UBC students, UNA; $35.00 public

Imagine grafting and pruning your fruit trees during the long days of summer. Gain hands-on skills in grafting and budding.

Late Summer Pruning of Espalier and Other Fruit Trees

Saturday August 15, 2015, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
UBC Botanical Garden, Reception Centre
Cost: $29.74 members, UBC students, UNA; $35.00 public

Explore late summer tips and tricks for pruning and training your trees to grow decorative plants suitable for small spaces.

Fall Fruit Tree Pest & Disease Control

Saturday September 26, 2015, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
UBC Botanical Garden, Reception Centre
Cost: $29.74 members, UBC students, UNA; $35.00 public

Learn how to identify insects and diseases that damage local trees. Walk away with practical tips and skills to manage your fruit trees the organic way.

Click here to visit the UBC Botanical Garden website and register. 

New Tree Fruit Workshops at the UBC Botanical Gardens and Langley

I am now the “Tree Fruit Adviser to the UBC Botanical Garden” and will be teaching a new series of workshops connected to the Espalier Fruit Tree planting in the Food Garden. The first of these are now online with several more to follow in the next few days:

New Tree Fruit Workshops at the UBC Botanical Garden

To register go to: UBC Botanical Garden Workshops


Saturday, March 14, 2015, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm


Saturday, March 14, 2015 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm


I am also teaching workshops this spring in Langley:

Surrey/Langley Continuing Education

To register go to: Surrey/Langley Continuing Education or phone 604-533-4227 or 604-856-4447


Sunday March 22, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm


Saturday May 30, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

City Farm Fest at Science World Oct. 27th

The City Farm Fest is part of the Explore Sustainability Weekend at Science World. The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project Society will have a table at this event. I will be giving two grafting demonstrations and two apple pruning talks On October 27th at their table starting at 11:30 am. Drop by the table to verify the times. I hope to see you there.

The general information about the Sustainability Weekend is as follows:

Location: Science World British Columbia
Date: October 26 and 27, 10am – 6 pm
Description: Explore the many ways that we can get involved in being caretakers for our planet and join us on Sunday for the opening of the TD Environmental Trail and a special City Farm Fest!

UBC Apple Festival October 19th and 20th

This is easily the largest Apple Festival in British Columbia, it is a must attend event for anyone in the area interested in tree fruits. For lots of information on this event click here. I will be at this event as a volunteer representing the Master Gardeners Association of BC – Vancouver Chapter and the BC Fruit Testers Association ( There will be lots of apple varieties for tasting, fruit trees for sale and lots more. On each day there will two grafting demonstrations by members of the BCFTA and on each day I will be doing a short talk about pruning and training apple trees. I hope to see you there.

Click here to see a video about the festival.

Pruning Old Apple Tree at Derby Reach

At the Derby Reach Apple Festival I lead a demonstration of pruning of an old apple tree. During that presentation I said that I would post before and after pictures of that tree. The pruning of that tree is not yet complete, so the before and after is not yet ready. I am working on it! Here are the before pictures. The first is from the front, the second from the side and the third from the inside.Derby Reach Apple 1 Derby Reach apple 2 Derby Reach old apple 3

Workshops and Courses



Over the next few months I will be instructing a few workshops and courses in the Vancouver BC area. The topics and contact information to register are below. I am always looking for more opportunities to teach about tree training, pruning and grafting, so if you know of such an opportunity, please contact me.

November 16, 2013.

Hands on Apple and Pear Pruning Workshop: 10:00 am – 12 noon. This is a fundraiser for the Vancouver Tree Fruit Project Society. This workshop will take place in the backyard of one of of the tree owners volunteers who allow this project to harvest their fruit for donation to various community groups in Vancouver. During the workshop two mature trees, a pear and an apple will be completely pruned. Participants will learn the critical information they need to know to prune and manage their trees, how to approach pruning large trees and they will also get hands on pruning experience. Click here to register.

November 23, 2013

Put More Fruit on Your Trees: 1:30 – 4:00 pm. A VanDusen Botanical Garden ( education course. Learn techniques to get the most from your apples, pears, plums, apricots and peaches. The topics will include: pruning and training for optimal fruit production, soil, watering and tree nutrition, improving blooms and pollination and caring for your growing fruit till harvest. Click here to register.

November 23, 2013

Prune to Improve Conifers: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm. Learn how to prune and direct the growth of your conifers to improve their look and function.  Understand how the plants naturally grow in order to prune for their long term health. It will include how to fix hedges with holes, repair bad pruning jobs, and how to correct specimen trees with unsightly gaps. If you have a problem plant, bring a picture of it for discussion.

January 25, 2014

Tree Grafting Fun: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm.  A VanDusen Botanical Garden ( education course. Learn how to add a new variety onto a tree in your yard, repair damage to tree trunks, or graft a pollinizer branch on a non-performing tree. Get hands-on practice of safe grafting techniques including chip, whip-and tongue, bridge, tread and bark grafting. This course will also explain the basic botany behind grafting, and will demo tools and machines used by the pros. Bring a sharp, thin bladed knife (a grafting knife if you have one). Click here to register.

February 8, 2014

Grow Tree Fruits in Containers: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm.  A VanDusen Botanical Garden ( education course. Learn how to grow apples, pears, plums, apricots, peaches, figs and other tree fruit in containers on your balcony of patio. Topics will include selecting trees (including rootstocks, varieties and size of tree), containers, soils, pruning and training including espalier training, trees with multiple fruit, and winter protection of your trees. Click here to register.

February 25, 2014

Tree Trickery: Train your trees by directing their growth and forcing them to grow in specific ways. Manipulating tree growth can be cone to create serpent, weeping or twisting ornamental trees, or to espalier fruit trees and more. Learn the techniques of tree training, and where to see interesting examples in Vancouver. Learn how to espalier a woody plant, forming it into a vertical trunk with horizontal branches in a single plane, creating attractive and productive fruit trees for small spaces.

March 22, 2014

Success with Fruit Trees: Grow delicious juicy fruit on your trees in your home garden. Richard will guide you through all aspects of fruit growing including site preparation, general maintenance, pollination and fruit set, pruning, and training. He will also cover how to renew and refresh older trees, and control of common pests and diseases.

Please note. Handouts and other information connected to all of these courses and workshops will be posted on this site. If you wish private one-on-one instruction in person or remotely over the internet, or want to organize a small group workshop using your trees (your trees will get pruned in the process) please contact me.

Fruit Tree Pruning Information

Today I gave a presentation about tree fruit pruning at the Vandusen Master Gardener’s Harvest Festival. This was not a stellar weather day in Vancouver, but many hardy gardeners did make it. It was a great experience.

It is very clear to me that I need to post much more information about tree fruit pruning on this site. Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting  new information on a range of tree fruit pruning topics including apical dominance and how to control it, how to manage apple and pear trees to increase the number of fruiting spurs, how to identify fruit and leaf buds and many more topics. My goal is to provide this information in a logical fashion, posts building on previous posts. Many of these topics are important background information that should help you evaluate the growth of your trees and your pruning options to achieve the goals you have for them. Please come back over the next few days and weeks to see the new posts and to provide me with feedback how useful (or not) this information is. 🙂

Vancouver Master Gardener Harvest Festival Sept. 28

Image from the 2011 Master Gardener Harvest Festival

Image from the 2011 Master Gardener Harvest Festival

Vancouver Master Gardener Harvest Festival September 28, 2013

Everyone is welcome to this event in the Floral Hall at VanDusen Botanical Gardens.  Displays, Vendors, sustainable gardening advice and more. This event is also the same day as the VBG Bulb Sale and the SOIL Sale in the parking lot. The following lectures will take place:

10:30am – Right Bulb, Right Place – Jo Ann Canning, MG

11:45am – Invasive Plants in the Home Garden  – Tasha Murray, ISCMV

1:00pm – Pruning your Fruit Trees – Richard Hallman, P.Ag., Arborist, MG

2:15pm – Collecting & Saving Vegetable Seeds  – Bardia Khaledi, VBG Seed Collectors


EPIC Sustainable Living Festival

EPIC Vancouver: July 6 & 7, 2013

Richard Hallman1sSaturday July 6 (1:30pm) and
Sunday July 7 (3:00pm)
Do you have trees that need some attention? Join Richard Hallman as he demonstrates how to direct the growth of your trees and shrubs so they look and grow the way you want them to. You will learn how to improve their beauty, resilience and health as well as their ability to produce flowers and fruit.Richard is an expert tree and shrub pruner who developed his passion for pruning while growing up on an orchard in the Okanagan Valley. Since 1979 he has taught gardeners, orchardists and agroforesters across the Pacific Northwest the techniques of pruning and training. He has a horticulture degree from the University of British Columbia, is a Licensed Professional Horticulturist, an Arborist and a Master Gardener. Richard is currently engaged in coaching gardeners one at a time or in small groups how to prune their own trees and shrubs. He also provides online pruning mentoring and advises on ways to renew heritage fruit trees.