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Our Top Tips for Pruning Apple Trees at Home

It’s the perfect time of year to prune your apple tree and our Farm Manager, Chris, has a few top tips to help you.

It’s important to remember that all apple varieties are different so there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to pruning but here are a few basic principles:

  1. Regularly prune your tree. In the early years this will help the tree form a shape that best captures sunlight and in later years will prevent it becoming too bushy- the more sunlight, the better tasting apples!
  2. Pruning trees can be quite hands on. On smaller branches use secateurs and if you have one at home, a pruning saw is helpful for larger branches.
  3. It is best to prune your tree so that it has evenly spread branches and a nice overall shape; two common ways are either an open centre tree (which is shaped like a goblet or wine glass) or a centre leader (which looks similar to a Christmas tree).
  4. Remove any branches that are broken or crossing over each other. The whole branch should be removed from the trunk (don’t worry the cut will heal over very quickly!).
  5. Bigger branches produce less apples, as they become too big it is best to remove them leaving room for younger branches to take their place.
  6. Little and often works best, Chris suggests once a year, every year!
  7. One last thing, if there are a lot of branches to remove, try and remove them over 2-3 years- otherwise the tree will produce lots of branches (and not many apples!).

Happy Pruning!

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