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When to prune apple trees?

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Joined: Jan 27, 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Zone 5

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: When to prune apple trees? Reply with quote

I am new ..just joined a few minutes ago.

Question: When is the best time to prune dwarf apple trees in Zone 5? I planted them about 4 years ago and some are beginning to become quite bushy.

Any sincere response will be appreciated.

Thank you,

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
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Joined: Oct 27, 2010
Posts: 135
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:58 am    Post subject: Re: When to prune apple trees? Reply with quote

By taking the time to prune your apple tree each year, you’ll be rewarded with bright apple blossoms in the spring and sweet fruit in the fall. Proper pruning is essential to getting a consistent harvest each growing season. By pruning your tree when it is young, you’ll get a bountiful crop year after year. In the Zone 5 area, Pink Ladies, Honey Crisps and Akane varieties do particularly well
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Joined: Oct 27, 2010
Posts: 135
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:59 am    Post subject: Re: When to prune apple trees? Reply with quote


Prune your apple trees in late winter or early spring before there is any new growth. Remove the growth from the previous year and not any new sprouts. Your goal for pruning a young tree is to encourage a strong framework of branches. On older trees you want to encourage the growth of fruit and maintain the shape of the tree.


Remove “suckers” that are sprouting out from around the bottom of the tree. These secondary growths draw water from the apple tree and inhibit its growth. Keep an eye on suckers through the summer and remove them as they sprout.


Make the proper cuts. Use the hand shears or lopping shears and only cut before the branch collar. The branch collar is the wrinkled wood right before the branch joins another branch. Never cut into the branch collar because it is essential to healing wounds.


Identify the scaffolding branches. These branches grow out from the main trunk and are evenly spaced. The ideal pruning shape is an inverted triangle and these scaffolding branches form the basis of that shape. If you don’t have any scaffolding branches, force them to grow by cutting a deep nick on some of the lower branches. A new branch will sprout from that spot.


Look for the fruiting buds and vegetative buds. Fruiting buds are dark-colored and wrinkly bumps that are on the scaffolding branches. In the spring, these become your blossoms. Vegetative buds are similar in size and shape, but they aren’t dark. This is where your new branches form. Leave both of these types of buds alone.


Remove dead, injured or diseased branches. Cut as close to the branch collar without actually slicing it. Remove crossing limbs, branches that grow straight down and those that grow toward the center. Shorten any branches that are too long.


Remove any branches that are crossing the main scaffolding branches. Thin out the center of the tree to encourage proper air circulation. When you remove a branch, cut above an outward facing vegetative bud. This way the new branches that sprout from these spots grow out and away from the center.


Have only one central leading branch. In addition to scaffolding branches, you should have a central branch. If you’ve got two or three clustered in the center, pick the healthiest one and remove the rest.
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Joined: Aug 09, 2017
Posts: 1
Location: Melbourne, VIC, 3020

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:29 am    Post subject: Re: When to prune apple trees? Reply with quote

Apple trees ought to be pruned in late winter, however, you'll be able to prune into the spring and summer if you want to. Avoid pruning in the fall since this stimulates new growth at a similar time the tree ought to be preparing for winter.
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