The Q&A Archives: Apple tree pruning

Question: I prune my apple trees every spring in late March prior to any new growth or buds. My question is can I cut the shoots/branches off this time of the year that would normally be pruned in the spring as I have a large number of these growths. Would this cause any damage to the tree or next years crop.

Answer: The problem with pruning at this time of the year is that pruning encourages new growth and any new growth your tree puts out now may not have time to fully mature, which will make it more prone to winter damage. If the new growth doesn't harden off in time, you'll have to prune again in the spring to remove the damage. It would be better for your tree if you waited until your usual pruning time in March.

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