General Question

syz's avatar

How to prune my apple trees?

Asked by syz (35846points) November 19th, 2008

I have two apple trees in my small suburban yard and I’d like to prune them. I understand the concept of pruning back to fewer branches so there are less numbers but larger and yummier fruit…..What I’m wondering is if I can severely whack the whole thing back without endangering the tree.

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8 Answers

babygalll's avatar

What ever you do DO NOT whack the tree. If you do it may never grow the way it’s suppose to. Prune the tree from the top of the branchea never from the root or the branches. Prune from the ends not the root. It’s like when we go to trim our hair. We trim from the ends. Happy Pruning!

jessturtle23's avatar

Wait for spring to prune. You never want to prune dormant trees. Try to find a pruning guide online to show you where to prune.

syz's avatar

I didn’t mean to the ground or anything that dramatic, just more like what you see done with Bradford Pears and other to avoid ice damage (just as an example of style, not for that reason).

augustlan's avatar

My husband is a certified tree expert…I’ll be back with his answer.

greylady's avatar

Thanks for the question. I need to do mine in the spring also. They are young, 4 yrs old, so need a little done before they get too tall for my ladder.

basp's avatar

Pruning is good for the trees but if you want larger, yummier, (albeit,fewer) fruit you need to thin the blossoms in the spring. Typically, three blossoms are produced on a branch end and you will need to pinch off two of them to allow the remaining one toreceive the most nutriants. Also, clear the new tree growth from the bottom of the trunk of the tree so the fruit will get more of the water. Another thing, if your trees are still young, or as the new growth comes in after pruning, gently tie branches in a way that pulls them away from the trunk of the tree you can do this by attaching string/wire to a solid part of the branch toward the end and the other end of the string/wire to the ground.

augustlan's avatar

Ok, I asked my husband and he wrote down the instructions for me. They very closely match the link provided by greylady, so I won’t retype them all here. A couple things he wrote that weren’t mentioned: Fruit is produced on 2 to 3” spurs that will produce for 3 to 5 years. Prune for height, take off weak sprouts that grow from main branches. Keep the center open and airy to prevent disease and allow room for the fruit. Apples should be pruned in late winter or early spring, while dormant. He said you can cut it way back, but be careful. As the link says, you may want to do that over a few years.

syz's avatar

Thank you all!

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