Winter is a great time to prune certain fruit trees and apples especially quite fancy a winter prune. We show you how to get your seasonal apple tree pruning underway.
From reducing the damage to healthy branches to sourcing good quality pruning tools we show you the six steps to effective apple tree pruning.
Remove dead and diseased bits of your tree
One of the most important things you are doing for your tree is removing parts that it is sending nutrient to that are dead or diseased. This lets your tree put more energy into fruit and growth.
Get rid of branches that grow downwards
Generally, you want your tree to grow up. Branches that hang down can allow disease to get in the tree from the ground and just make it harder to pick. It’s best to encourage the bulk of the tree to grow and fruit where you can easily reach it to harvest your delicious apples.
Remove branches that are crossing over
Crossed over branches can rub and are another place disease can get in. It also makes it hard for fruit to grow and harder for you to harvest. Keeping it neat and tidy helps the tree.
Try to reduce the damage you make to healthy branches
Sharp tools and taking your time are great ways to reduce the damage you do to the otherwise healthy branches of your tree. It’s great if you can make clean cuts and try not to hack into other parts of the tree.
Aim to create space in the growth
The branches and fruit of your tree will grow better if they have airflow and space. When you’re pruning it’s great to make tough choices about which branch is going to give the most fruit and (gulp) remove the competing branch.
Use good quality pruning tools
High quality, sharp tools are a must when pruning your trees. The Opinel range are French, and fantastically high quality steel and timber.