The Q&A Archives: Upright Sprouts on Apple Trees

Question: Several times a year I have to remove upright sprouts from around my apple trees. Is there any way to prevent these?

Answer: Those upright sprouts are non-productive and should be removed from the tree. It's a natural occurance, though, and you should expect to have to prune them out. If your trees are small enough, and you can inspect them every few weeks, you can rub out any buds that form on the tops of branches, rather than waiting for sprouts to develop. My trees are on dwarfing rootstock so I check them periodically and just rub out any ill-placed buds. Try doing that next spring and summer and you won't have to get out those pruners!

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