When Is The Best Time To Prune Apple Trees?
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Pruning Apple Trees
Pruning is a very important part of proper apple tree care and maintenance; however, many people think the task is overwhelming.
It doesn’t have to be! Keep these things in mind when approaching pruning your apple trees:
- Have confidence in knowing that not everyone will prune the exact same way – including the experts.
- In the best interest of your tree, it is preferable to do some pruning versus no pruning.
- If an apple tree is left unpruned, it may not become fruitful, it will not grow as well, and – in some cases – it may not be encouraged to grow at all.
- There are three main reasons you should prune your apple tree: its survival, stimulation, and shaping.
Narrow, V-shape crotch angles in the limbs are an open invitation to disastrous splitting later on, particularly when your apple tree is supporting a large fruit crop. For your tree’s branches, choose wide 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock angles.
Pruning to a bud
Make sharp, clean cuts close enough (about 1/4 inch away from the next outward-pointing bud) so you won’t leave a clumsy stub that’s hard to heal over. Stay far enough above the bud so it won’t die back. Slant the cuts and the new growth will develop beautifully.
Prune for Success
Apple trees develop better if they’re pruned in a timely manner and with a bit of care and consideration. Here’s how:
Help the tree form a strong framework. This is what you should aim for when pruning:
- Remove weak, diseased, injured, or narrow-angle branches.
- Cut the weaker of any crossing or interfering branches and one branch of forked limbs.
- Remove upright branches and any that sweep back inward toward the center of the tree.
The purpose is to keep your apple tree’s canopy from becoming too thick and crowded, so some thinning is necessary to permit light to enter the tree and also to keep its height reasonable.
All these objectives promote the improved bearing and fruit quality of your apple tree – you’ll be pleased with the results!