The Q&A Archives: Pruning Apple Trees

Question: I'm trying to determine the best time of year and method to prune a neglected apple tree. Is there a general shape I'm looking for? How sparse should the density of the branches be?

Any additional information would be welcome.

Answer: Winter, when apple trees are fully dormant, is the best time to prune. Fruit tree pruning is partly art and partly science. There are different types of pruning depending on the needs of the tree and the desires of the grower. For an introduction to it, including helpful photographs and diagrams, you might take a look at the following web site: You might also want to take a look at a book or two about pruning.

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