How to prune apple trees | Thompson & Morgan

How to prune apple trees

Apple trees are incredibly popular and come in a huge range of shapes and sizes. They can be grown as standards, or trained against walls as cordons, espaliers or fans. Dwarf varieties can even be grown in containers.
Whichever type of apple tree you grow, regular pruning is authoritative if you want it to stay healthy and produce lots of yield. here ’ s how and when to prune your apple trees .

When to prune apple trees

Apple 'Cox's Orange Pippin' from Thompson & Morgan
Apple ‘Cox ‘s Orange Pippin ‘ has an aromatic flavor and crispen, juicy texture
double : Visions BV, Netherlands
Standard apple trees are chiefly pruned in winter, between November and early March when the plant is dormant. Winter pruning stimulates rout growth.

Trained apple trees should be pruned in summer, with barely a tidy up during winter if required. Mid- to late-August is ideal .
Most apple trees produce yield on spurs – short shoots that sprout on older wood. however, a few varieties, known as tip-bearers, fruit at the end of hanker shoots that were produced the year ahead. Identify which type of apple tree you have to avoid by chance removing all the shoots that will produce future year ’ randomness snip .

How to prune standard apple trees

Apple 'Appeltini' from Thompson & Morgan
Aim for an open chalice form that allows batch of sunlight to reach and ripen the fruit
persona : Apple ‘Appletini ‘ from Thompson & Morgan

To prune your apple tree you ’ ll need a good fix of steps, a pruning see and sharp secateurs. It ’ south important to make clean cuts that will reduce the risk of introducing disease .
For standard apple trees you should aim to create an open, goblet human body that allows the maximum sum of light down into the tree and good publicize circulation.

  1. Start by removing dead, diseased or weak growth and any branches that are crossing.
  2. On spur-bearing trees, reduce the length of main branches by about a third. 
  3. Cut to a good, outward-facing bud, making a slanted cut down and away from the bud to prevent rain pooling on it. 
  4. Keep checking the tree’s overall shape before you make any more cuts.
  5. Side shoots, known as laterals, should be left over winter to produce fruit buds.
  6. Do remove any growth that is heading towards the centre of the tree, reducing air and light.
  7. On well established trees, thin out any congested fruit spurs. Start with those on the underside of branches as fruit there will struggle to ripen. Shorten others to leave the strongest, allowing space for developing fruit.
  8. On tip-bearing trees, stop branches getting too long by cutting back some of the older stems to a younger shoot.

How to prune trained appled trees

Trained apple tree against a wall
Remove any undesirable upright growth in summer
prototype : Andrew Fletcher/Shutterstock
Apples grown as cordon, espalier or fans should be pruned from mid-august. The drive is to maintain the desire shape and allow vitamin a much sun as possible to ripen the fruit. however, once the trees are mature, you may need to thin any clog spur over the winter .

  1. Cut back new shoots more than 20cm long to three leaves above the basal leaves.
  2. Reduce any new shoots from existing side shoots to one leaf above the basal leaves.
  3. Remove any growth that is spoiling the shape, particularly vertical growth, cutting it close to the parent branch.
  4. If you get more growth after summer pruning, remove it in September.

We hope we’ve given you plenty of tips to help you prune your apples trees and enjoy many years of delicious fruit. For more advice on growing fruit trees, check out our dedicated fruit tree hub page. 

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Category : Tutorial

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