Pruning Old Apple Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Bradford, PA
Question by lae
April 8, 1998
Our apple tree has not been pruned for several years. Can we begin pruning now, even though the tree is leafing out?


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Answer from NGA
April 8, 1998

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Apple trees are best pruned in the winter or early spring before any new growth begins. It would stress the tree to begin pruning now. So, now I've eliminated one chore for you! When you begin pruning next winter, prune about one-third of the wood that needs to be removed. The following two years, do the same, so that this major pruning job is spread over three years to reduce the stress on the tree. Good luck.

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