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When To Prune Apple Trees? Facts, FAQs & How to Guide

apple tree blossoming

All fruit trees require pruning to grow in your desired shape and produce high-quality fruits. Pruning helps preserve and restore old trees, shape young trees and remove damaged branches. It also contributes to air and light penetration and regulates pests and diseases.

You’d probably like to know when and how often you should prune apple trees. The best timing is from late winter (November) to early spring (March). Check out the rest of the article below as we explain further.

divider - blender banana strawberry Why Should You Prune Apple Trees?

Pruning is an essential process to keep your apple tree healthy while influencing tree growth and fruit production. Pruning an apple tree has many benefits, and by practicing regular pruning, you’ll have better fruits that you’ll be able to pick more easily. Also, while pruning, you remove old limbs and branches, allowing new ones to come through.

A well-maintained and pruned apple tree will bear delicious apples and remain bountiful and healthy.

close up wet apple tree
Image Credit: Lichtsammler, Pixabay

The Perfect Timing for Pruning Apple Trees

Pruning of apple trees can be done anytime, although the best timing is from late winter (November) to early spring (March), as it’s just before the active growth season begins. It’s much easier and more efficient to prune when you can see the buds and work around them, especially since the spring season brings insects and other living creatures to the tree.

You can also stick to summer pruning which is typically done around late July or early August. Summer pruning should be done with caution as it can weaken the tree and decrease fruit production and quality.

How Do I Prune My Apple Tree?

Pruning is not a complex process, although you will need some essential tools:
  • Hand prunes/secateurs
  • Loopers
  • Pruning saw
  • Ladder

Before beginning the pruning process, look at your apple tree and determine which branches should be cut and how you want the tree to look. You can mark the branches to make the whole procedure easier.

Once you make a pruning plan, start by removing dried-out, dead and diseased branches. It’s best to try and remove all vertical branches, leaving only the horizontal ones that will benefit the tree’s shape and production. Get rid of any branches and limbs that cause too much shade and that prevent light from reaching the tree. Don’t forget to prune the base and remove shoots, water sprouts, and suckers.

Of course, this is not a job everyone can do, so if you’re afraid that you might damage the tree, you can always reach out to a professional to help you with the pruning procedure.

divider - blender banana strawberry Conclusion

It’s best to practice winter apple tree pruning, although you can do the process in the summer as well. Before beginning, ensure you know what you’re doing or reach out to someone more skillful to help and guide you. Your apple trees will look better, be healthier and produce delicious fruits for a long time.

Featured Image Credit: blickpixel, Pixabay


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