Posted on: 8 February 2023Share
Maintaining a healthy apple tree is essential for producing a bountiful harvest of delicious fruit. As a homeowner with an apple tree in your yard, you may wonder how to properly care for and trim your tree. While pruning may seem daunting, it is essential to improve your tree's overall health and fruit production.
Whether you choose to do the pruning yourself or hire a professional tree service company, these tips will help you to keep your apple tree healthy and productive:
Tip: Prune During Dormancy
Prune in late winter or early spring while the tree is dormant. This is the best time to prune because the tree is not actively growing, and you can see the tree's structure more clearly with no leaves. Pruning during the dormant season also reduces the risk of disease and pests, as fewer active pathogens are present because of the cold weather.
Tip: Remove Obvious Misgrowth First
Using clean, sharp tree pruning tools, remove any obvious misgrowth first. This gets it out of the way and gives you a clear view of the remaining tree you must work with.
Remove any water sprouts or suckers growing from the base of the tree or the trunk. These vigorous shoots will not produce fruit and take energy away from the tree. Cut them off as close to the trunk as possible.
Cut back any branches that are growing too close to the ground. These can be prone to disease and pests. And can also make it difficult to mow or walk around the tree.
Tip: Remove Dead and Damaged Branches
After the misgrowth is removed, remove all dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Dead or diseased branches should be removed by cutting them off at the branch's base, as close to the trunk as possible. Removing damaged or dead wood helps prevent disease and pests and improves the tree's overall health.
Tip: Remove Crossing or Rubbing Branches in the Canopy
Thin out the apple tree's canopy by removing any crossing or rubbing branches. This will help increase air circulation and light penetration, improving fruit production. Crossing branches will rub against each other when the wind blows, causing damage and creating entry points for pests and disease.
In conclusion, it is essential to prune your tree yearly. Keep in mind that pruning is a gradual process. You should not remove too much at once. Always make sure to use clean and sharp tools to avoid damaging the tree and leaving it open to disease. Or, better yet, have all of your trees professionally trimmed by a local tree service.
Contact a local tree trimming service to learn more.