How to prune apple trees correctly

Prune trees

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In the first 5 to 8 years of a fruit tree, a pyramid-shaped, stable treetop is ideally built. It consists of the trunk extension, from which go in different heights and growth directions 3 to 4 strong branches. The side branches, from which branch off the fruit-bearing branches. Fiddles and side branches are to grow diagonally upwards, the fruit branches are raised horizontally growing. To achieve this, you should prune apple trees correctly.

Prune apple trees correctly: cut in winter

In annual, in late winter recurring fruit tree trimming – also called educational section – the increase in the Leitäste and the trunk extension is cut back by about a third when you prune apple trees correctly.

  • Side branches: Too close side branches are lighted and the fruit branches are brought by means of small weights in a horizontal position. If a stable crown structure is built, the tree comes into full yield. The cutting measures must be adjusted. The maintenance cut also takes place in late winter.
  • Trunk extension: The crown and the trunk extension are no longer shortened, but “slimmed down” to the top. This means that competing side shoots are removed with the shoot tip. Steep and inward growing shoots  are taken out.
  • Fruit Wood:  Old fruit wood is removed. The tree is illuminated so that enough light and air get inside the treetop. If after a few years of full yield the shoot growth and the harvest subsides, the tree is exhausted. Now it’s time for a rejuvenation cut. Even uncut and unkempt trees can be revitalized with such an intervention.

 In the first 5-8 years , the crown is built on the pyramid model. On older trees one tries to get the pyramid shape by suitable pruning methods.

Fruit tree cut: wound healing

Cuts quickly grow again when you cut the branches just at the main branch, so that the highest 0.5 to 1 cm stops. 

Trees cut with rejuvenation cut

  1. Remove dry and sick branches. With a saw or a pair of scissors on the telescopic pole, you first remove the dry and the sick branches from an old apple tree.

Fruit tree pruning: What does rejuvenation mean?

An uncut apple tree gets denser every year. Neither light nor air then enter the brow crown. It has to be heavily illuminated. Rejuvenation means pruning into perennial wood. If major interventions are necessary, distribute cutting measures over 2 to 3 years.

Really rejuvenate the apple tree – how it works!

Start by cutting out dry and sick branches. Then get an overview of the existing branches. Select a trunk extension and 3 to 4 strong branches that can form the leader.

They should stand at an angle of about 60 degrees to the trunk extension. Remove the excess ladder-like axes. This includes competing stem extensions, often formed by steep shoots. Trim trunk extension and leader by one-third to a junior branch. Too tight side branches are illuminated. The rest guide you through pruning to younger shoots.

What results with the rejuvenation prune

As a result of the cut will be many new drives. In the summer, keep them at a distance of about 50 centimeters. Let flat-growing shoots stand, because they form flowers.

Dispose of fruit tree trimming made easy

If you want to dispose of your clippings, there are various possibilities. If you want to continue using the wood after the fruit tree cut, reach for the shredder. If you do not have a shredder home, you can borrow one from a hardware store. Borrowing equipment from Bauhaus and Obi, for example, is available from 30 euros for four hours. Choppers are selected according to the nature of the cut material: if it is very coarse, a roll chopper will help. For medium to fine clippings, a shredder with knife is used. So that the clippings do not become brittle, process them directly afterwards. 

With a lot of clippings and little time, there are service providers who approach with a large shredder and cut clippings for you. Please note, however, that the shredded material will not be taken along afterwards.

If you do not want to use the garden waste in your own garden and compost, you bring the clippings to the recycling center. Inquire about locations on the Internet or in the community.

gerhardt-richter Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.