by Steve Preli on 02/23/17
During the summer I get loads of questions about how to prune apple trees and how come I always have such good looking trees with lots of fruit. Well, I'm going to help you get that great looking apple tree with lots of apples.
First, I find that February & March is a great time to prune trees because the daylight is getting longer.
Dwarf apple trees should be kept to about 10-12' in height and there should be 3-4 strong horizontal branches at the lower part of the trunk and 2-3 more a couple of feet higher. The top should have 1 or 2 short branches. Kind of like the perfect pine tree!
Apples bear fruit buds on two year old branches so I keep the younger branches growing and you should too. You don't want to cut those flower buds off.
Get into your tree with your eyes. Cut out branches that cross each other, broken branches and suckers, those branches that grow long and fast and straight up.
Keep your eyes in your tree. The last thing is to make room for sunlight and air. The sun will help give your apples the great color they deserve. Prune complete branches off. Avoid having to cut a branch part way. Try to cut it off at the next biggest branch.
With these simple directions you should be able to begin pruning your own apple trees. Good luck and don't worry about cutting too much off. Your tree will be better off the next year.
Let me know how it went. Leave me your comments or questions.
Your Farmer, Steve