The Tree and Shrub Garden in Late Autumn
Your main job in late autumn will be planting. Although it can, in theory, be done at any time during winter, late autumn or early winter are best. Roses,shrubs, trees, climbers, tree fruits, vines and can all go in now; the hardier evergreens can also be planted but are less likely to survive in very cold winters. Staking and pruning will be part of the process.
Pruning the tree fruits can be started towards the end of late autumn, once the leaves are completely off. Wall-grown fruits can be re-tied after spacing and possibly cutting if necessary and some shrubs and climbers may need surgical treatment. Another form of late-autumn pruning is root pruning, done to fruit which is obstinate about cropping.
The end of late autumn is also a good time to cover vulnerable plants with netting to protect them against birds, cold or wind, and to make sure that all those needing supports are securely attached before gales, snow and heavy rain start. Apart from these, there are various odd jobs to do, which are mostly a matter of finishing off; these include picking the remaining fruit, sweeping up leaves and taking hardwood.