Pruning is a technique adopted to control the growth of trees, remove the dead or diseased wood and stimulate the formation of flowers on fruit-bearing trees. It is very important to carry out the process of pruning in mature trees, on a regular basis. When it comes to mature apple trees, the old branches should be cut at least once a year, so that the younger branches replace them. Moreover, pruning in late winter season helps maintains overall health of the tree. If you want to get the best fruit, prune your apple trees on an annual basis. Through this article, you will get to know how to prune mature apple trees.
Pruning Apple Trees
- The best time to prune mature apple trees is late winter, when it is in the dormant stage. Not only does it encourage growth, but also helps the wounds, caused by the pruning process, heal faster. Also, you can easily spot the flower buds when you prune a matured apple tree during this time. On the contrary, summer season is not favorable to carry out this process, as it discourages growth.
- Old branches of the tree generally bear the best fruit. Prune the two to five-year-old branches every year, so that the younger branches replace them.
- Always prune the branches located on the upper portion of the tree. Make sure that they are shorter than the lower branches. It is imperative to provide a wide space between the upper and lower branches.
- Always use good quality pruning shears, which are sharp on both the sides. Such tool will help you prune the branches in a clean manner. Cut all the dead, broken and diseased branches of the tree. Now, identify the central leader branch and cut the other limbs that compete with it. Ensure that there are more horizontal branches than the vertical ones.
- Remove limbs that cause too much shading and clear the suckers located around the base of the tree.
- Avoid cutting the branch collar, located at the base of all the branches, when you are pruning the apple tree. This is because cells, which help heal the wounds, are located in this area.
- It is always wise to start the pruning process only if excess number of branches is growing towards the inside of the tree.
- Make use of a hand pruner for limbs and shears for the branches of the tree. Use a pole pruner to cut high branches of the tree. To cut the big branches, make use of a tree lopper.
- Try to make the cuts as near as possible to the point from where the branches grow.