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When is the Best Time to Prune Apple Trees?

 Best Time to Prune Apple Trees

The process of pruning apple trees is not a difficult task to complete. Trees that are not pruned correctly will be congested with old branches and will be less productive the following season. The main goal of any pruning is to create a basic framework with at least five main branches. You will find that the best time to prune apple trees is in the winter, just before the onset of spring.
 
Pruning in winter will be the best option for bushes and standard apple trees. Summer pruning can be a better option for spindle bushes and other restricted forms of apple trees. Pruning should be done when the tree is in a dormant state. This is usually between the leaf fall and when bud burst occurs. Trees are typically at this state between the months of November to early in March.
 
How to Prune Apple Trees
 
The pruning technique that is used will depend on whether trees will develop fruit that are on the spurs or near the tips of the shoots created the previous season. This will mean apple trees will be a tip bearer or a spur. One thing to keep in mind is the first stage of the pruning process is the same for both types.
 
A pruning saw will need to be used or a sharp pair of loppers or a good pole saw. All dead, weak, diseased, damaged, and dying branches need to be removed first. Remove larger branches with the pruning saw to keep the center of the trees open. Spread the work over two or more seasons if many large branches will need to be removed. Cut large branches back to a lower branch that is vigorous.
 
Spur-Bearing Apple Trees
 
Shorten by one-third the previous year's growth of every main branch to a new bud. All side shoots need to be cut back that are growing from the framework. Remove any shoots that may be badly-placed.
 
Tip Bearing Apple Trees
 
The previous year's growth needs to be pruned on each of the main branches. Any non-pruned side shoots that are about one-foot long should be left alone. Reduce congestion by cutting back any older fruiting wood to a younger shoot.
 
Neglected Trees
 
Any apples trees that may have been neglected can be brought back to productive growth. This process may require the advice and help of an expert.
 
One thing to keep in mind about pruning apple trees is they can easily suffer cold damage.

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