Tree pruning question

I've been trying to find out when is the best time to prune my cherry, plum and pear trees but can't seem to find much information on the subject.

They haven't been pruned or cut back for over 10 years and are over 6 meters tall so desaparetely need cutting back but I don't want to kill them. Many of them are over 30 years old and yield a substantial amount of fruit. Unfortunately, it's impossible to pick the fruit from the tops of the trees due to their height.

I've just taken a look and it's a wealth of information. Many thanks for this reference.

For general pruning advice though it doesn't cover the specifics of your overgrown trees the Royal Horticultural Society website has a wealth of information on when to prune what in easy to follow tips grouping trees shrubs etc into different pruning groups.

Anytime I'm in doubt about a plant I usually check on the RHS site first before setting to with secateurs.

Many thanks Terry, I wasn't sure about how easy it would be so I'm going to get a quote from a local company.

If they haven't been pruned for that long and they're that tall it sounds like a major undertaking and easy to get it totally wrong unless you really know what you're doing. If you can afford it, get in a professional. Once he's done the major pruning you will be able to maintain them yourself. Get a devis to find out just how much it would cost. Might be less than you think.

Otherwise, do you have a neighbour with well maintained fruit trees you could ask for advice? He might even offer/agree to do it for you (we have such a neighbour!).

Another possibility: if you have an agricultural lycee in the neighbourhood, ask if they have a gardening/fruit growing section and would be interested in using it as a practical exercise. I'm told they're always on the lookout for this kind of project.