Dwarf Apple Pruning - Knowledgebase Question

Elk Grove, CA
Question by johnalda
July 9, 1999
I recently planted a dwarf apple tree with four different varieties grafted on. Two on each side so that the tree is flat on the front and back sides. I saw this done in Italy and thought it would be good to try. How and when do I prune the tree so that the four branches and the graft will become stronger as the tree grows, so they will hold up under future weight. There are other smaller branches, should they be trimmed off at pruning time? This is a young tree with a trunk approximately one inch diameter, each branch is about 4 feet long, and the tree is now about 4" tall.

Your help is greatly appreciated.


Image
Answer from NGA
July 9, 1999

0



When you prune, the first thing you do is remove damaged, broken and diseased branches. Next, remove any branches that rub or touch each other. When that is done, stand back and STUDY from all angles. Then carry out the suggestions above for the 'modified leader' method.

If you do a fair amount of pruning it will produce a big, flush of growth in the spring, therefore be on the lookout for suckers and water sprouts (vigorous vertical shoots) and take them out when they appear. When you cut, cut quite close to the nearest branch or trunk leaving just barely a "neck". Do not leave stumps as they will be a weak point on the tree and invite disease and insects. Remember that pruning off too much at any given time will probably stress your tree. So don't go "overboard".

Here is the web site for The Virtual Orchard "http://orchard.uvm.edu". There might be some additional information there which would be of help.







When you prune, the first thing you do is remove damaged, broken and diseased branches. Next, remove any branches that rub or touch each other. When that is done, stand back and STUDY from all angles. Then carry out the suggestions above for the 'modified leader' method.

If you do a fair amount of pruning it will produce a big, flush of growth in the spring, therefore be on the lookout for suckers and water sprouts (vigorous vertical shoots) and take them out when they appear. When you cut, cut quite close to the nearest branch or trunk leaving just barely a "neck". Do not leave stumps as they will be a weak point on the tree and invite disease and insects. Remember that pruning off too much at any given time will probably stress your tree. So don't go "overboard".

Here is the web site for The Virtual Orchard "http://orchard.uvm.edu". There might be some additional information there which would be of help.





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