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Winter Pruning Apple Trees – Part 2

Hi there welcome back. Now I’ve just finished or pretty much finished pruning the tree that you saw in the first part of the video. You can kind of get a gauge of just how much material has been removed and yet the shape of the tree has been maintained, and you can see there’s a lot more gaps a lot more space for the fruits to develop.

Remove unproductive branches

Now this is the material that has been removed so a healthy amount, there are some other bits I’m going to pick up.

One thing of note is this section here which I removed from the top of the tree you can see what happens if the tree is pruned in such a way you get all this new growth and it all kind of tangles in and forms this knot of unproductive wood so that was just removed.

It will stimulate a lot of new growth but those shoots can be pruned in the summer and trained and over time that new growth will become productive but that is just a mess so that kind of thing has to go.

Where to prune

If I get closer in you can see this is quite an old tree and so the wood is a lot more different than what you’d find on a younger tree. A younger tree will have thinner shoots which you would reduce by about half which would encourage these fruiting spurs.

So you can see here this was a growth which I’ve just cut back and that will hopefully encourage these spurs to form so this is pretty good.

I’ll give it a once over because there might be the odd shoot that I’ve missed but you can get the general idea of what we’re trying to do.

Nice clean cuts we don’t want nil growth you can see you missed the odd bit here so you got the little bit of crossing here so I’ll be tempted to remove that one there but you can see where it’s been pruned before years and years ago.

It’s a bit of a tangle so like I said it’d be very unlikely that you have old trees like this. So if you have younger trees kind of between two and five years old the pruning is the principal is the same but you will find the shoots will be younger not as knobbly.

They’ll resemble more this type of shoot here which over time will mature and form fruiting spurs.

So if this was longer I’d be reducing it down you can see here when you reduce them so this would have been let’s try and get the good angle, this would have been a longer shoot and it’s been reduced to here and it’s encouraged these fruiting spurs to form.

Pruning Younger Apple Trees

So, you get the idea hopefully I will try and find a younger tree to show you kind of how to prune that one because it can be quite daunting when confronted with an old tree like this.

So younger trees the principal remains as I’ve said, the whole priority is to get a nice open tree just to try and get a nice productive tree I’ve not taken off as much as perhaps I could have on this tree. As I’ve said previously you don’t want to be removing more than 1/3 you can see the material that I’ve removed but it makes a hell of a difference so it’s a really good idea.

Winter Pruning Season

As I said you’re on your kind of last few weeks where it’s best to do this type of pruning but get out there for some winter pruning of your apple trees and I’ll come back in the summer to this tree and show you what it kind of looks like after being stimulated by this pruning and I’ll show you how to maximise the productivity of the new growth that will emerge from this tree.

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