Fall – The Perfect Time For Pruning Your Apple Trees

If you have an apple tree that isn't shaped quite like you desire, now is the perfect time to prune it. Pruning is best done during the late fall when the tree is dormant. Not only can pruning help to improve the shape of your tree, but it will also help it to produce more apples next growing season. Below, you will find out how to prune your apple tree properly.

Eliminate Dead and Damaged Limbs

Take your time to look over the tree very well. Look for any limbs that are damaged or aren't producing any leaves or fruit. These limbs can be removed to help increase the sunlight that the healthy limbs are exposed to and promote the overall health of the tree.

To prune those dead limbs off, cut the branch just beyond where it meets the truck of the tree. Cut the limb at an angle the whole way through. Avoid ripping the bark when you remove the dead limb or you could cause more damage to the tree.

Tip: To prevent ripping the bark, cut a small groove into the opposite side of the limb that you are cutting. This will help to achieve a clean cut and prevent the bark from ripping.

Remove Hanging Branches

If any branches seem to be hanging lower than others, you want to remove them. The hanging branches are likely putting a lot of strain on the trunk of the tree and should be removed before they break off and fall to the ground or cause damage to the trunk.

Clip off Whips

Whips are the slender shoots that are branching off of the tree. These whips aren't going to grow into full size productive branches, so they can be removed. Leaving the whips to grow will only absorb the nutrients that the rest of the tree needs to thrive.

Cut Away Limbs with a Narrow Crotch

A narrow crotch is when a limb branches off of the trunk at a tight upward angle. Ideally, the angle between a limb and the trunk should be between 45 and 60 degrees. This angle will provide optimum strength and health.

If you are unable to do the pruning work yourself, contact your local tree trimming service. The crew will quickly be able to identify and rectify any issues that your apple tree may have to ensure that the next season produces much more healthy growth. Contact a company like Smitty's Tree Service Inc for more information.