The Q&A Archives: Pruning Apple Trees

Question: How does one go about pruning normal apple trees in one's backyard?

Answer: Pruning apple trees is as much an art as it is a science. Wait until the tree is dormant (late winter) and then remove any branches that are dead, diseased, dying, crossing, rubbing or broken. Remove any upright suckers, then prune to shape so that the center of the tree is open to sunlight. You can force branches to grow fruiting spurs by pruning and training. There's an excellent book on the subject that has lots of line-drawings to guide you. Your library may have a copy, or a local bookstore can order it for you: 'Pruning', by Christopher Brickell, published by Simon & Schuster, ISBN# 0-671-65841-7. Good luck to you and your apple tree!

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