Pruning Apple Trees

There is a great difference of opinion here regarding the pruning of

three-year or older apple trees. Many people cut back three, four and

five-year-old trees half the season's growth; others only cut back six


Apple trees are cut back during their early life to cause branching and

to secure short distances between the larger laterals on the main

branches. This secures a lower, stronger tree. Cutting back twice or

three times should secure a good framework of this kind, and then the

apple should not be regularly and systematically cut back as the peach

and apricot are. It is not possible to prescribe definite inches,

because cutting back is a matter of judgment and depends upon how thick

the growth is, what its position and relation to other shoots, etc. The

chief point in cutting back is to know where you wish the next laterals

to come on the shortened shoot, and if you do not wish more laterals at

once; do not cut back at all. Treatment, of laterals which come of

themselves is another matter. Do not clip the ends of shoots unless

laterals are desired. If you keep clipping the ends of apple twigs, you

will get no fruit from some varieties.

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