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By Jensen

Oxfordshire, United Kingdom Gb

Is is alright to snip off shoots and small branches of apples trees now? I know you should not prune when the sap is up, and to do it in winter instead, but I do not know how much this matters.
On our apple tree (Jupiter - an eating apple type), some of the shoots and small branches are touching eachother, and I gather that this is not ideal, because they can rub against eachother in the wind. It also means less light is getting to some apples. I should have pruned more of the tree before Spring, but I did not realise that the weight of the apples would make some branches touch each other.
I have just done some thinning, which I know should have been done by mid-July; this makes the branches lighter.

The other one is our Bramley apple tree. Part of it is over a greenhouse, and it is preventing some light from getting into the greenhouse. I would like to prune some small branches back to the larger branch that they have grown from,



I have always light pruned at this time of year, just the small growth beyond the fruit. It allows light in to the crop. I dk about more drastic pruning as in the area above your greenhouse. I would leave that till winter as it sounds as if there is a lot more needing to be cut back. Maybe you could cut the tips off or cut out a few of the excess branches, but do not do major pruning now is the advice I was always given. It can lead to the tree being attacked by diseases. I find the greenhouse being near a tree is more of a help than a hindrance as it helps keep the temperature in the g'house down when it is very sunny.

21 Jul, 2014


It's my understanding that if you prune in winter you are encouraging leafy growth, and if you prune July-August you are encouraging flowering growth (spurs) instead.
On that basis you might do a little at both times, depending on the outcome you're trying for.
Also, in regard to crossing rubbing branches, prune at any time because a clean cut is less harmful to the tree than a constant chafing letting in infections.

21 Jul, 2014


Sorry you are getting conflicting advice Jensen. I would never do as Teadrinker suggests but maybe someone else will give a more positive opinion. PM Bamboo as she is very knowledgeable and I would rely on advice from her.

21 Jul, 2014

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