What is the best time to prune Apple trees ?
Pruning is a horticultural practice involving the selective removal of parts of a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots.Pruning is done to remove dead wood, keep plants in shape, enhancing the growth of plants,improving the yield of plants.
The parts of plants you should prune off includes :
- Dead/ Broken branches
- Criss-crossing branches
- Narrow crotches
The best time to prune apple trees is in late winter or very early spring before any new growth starts.
Young and old trees - In young and old tress what we need to prune off is the suckers. The best time to do this is during the summer when suckers are least likely to re-sprout. To get rid of suckers either we can prune them off or use sucker stopper, which is a chemical that inhibit the growth of the Suckers.
Suckers should be treated as early as possible. The best practise is to treat them before they get 10 inches long.
Tip bearer tree - If your tree bears fruit at its tips then you will only need to shorten the main branches by a quarter of the previous season’s growth. The laterals can be left unpruned.
Lateral bearer tree - If your tree produces fruit from spurs further down the branch then you can shorten the main branches by a quarter of the previous season’s growth.