Apples are one of the most cultivated fruit trees. These perennial trees are so versatile you can plant it in any garden site even in a small yard. Its several varieties, colors, shapes and sizes make our place beautiful. You can use many different trimming techniques when you prune apple trees. You can form your tree in any shape that best suits your needs. Here are some tips on how we can prune our apple trees.
The first step to prune apple trees is to know the circumstances we want our trees to be pruned out. There are some factors we should consider. These are the suckers, stump or broken end branches, criss-crossing branches, upward and downward growing branches, narrow branches and the twisted branches or the whorls. These are the things we should consider in pruning our apple trees.
Our objective is to make sure that our young apple trees have an effective and firm setting or framework. We also make sure that mature trees can sustain their shape and satisfy fruit production goals. Timing is also a big factor. Late winter or early spring is the best time for us to prune.
During summer months, when our trees are actively developing, you should only prune the suckers. Remove suckers that grow from the roots. You can prune it off or use some chemicals to obstruct them from growing up. Treat them earlier before they grow to 10 inches long.
From the moment you plant them, we ought to begin to prune apple trees. Central leaders can produce a pyramid shaped tree. If your newly planted tree is a whip, it should be about 32 inches in height. The top-most bud will be the central leader. Its branches should be 24 inches in length and there must be about the same distance between the ground and the branches. The height should be around 32 inches of the leader. Cut off two to four inches of any side branches.
The top shoot becomes the leader during the first summer. Compress all other shoots. On its first winter when there’s a lot of new growth, pick three to five branches for the first set of framework branches. It must have four inches of vertical distance from its trunk. Cut branches that compete with the leader.
During the second summer, the top most tree branch should still grow vertically. Trim again any competing shoots. On the second winter, choose another set of framework at about two to three feet higher than the first. Do it until you have three to four sets of framework branches. Keep the shape by pruning any sprouts and any crossing or unwanted branches. Sustain the shape by consistently keeping the lower branches longer than the upper branches.
For mature trees, just maintain its shape and size in pruning it. Eliminate broken or diseased branches. Cut any branches growing inward and also ones that are growing vertically or straight down. Trim down weak stems and any crossing parts. Shorten those branches that are too long. You can thin out the spurs per branch so that it will permit light and air to get around the tree.
Having a superb tree packed with apple blossoms during spring is a merit on how we care for and prune apple trees. It is really easy and entertaining. You will be rewarded with the choice fruits of your good labor.