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Young tree needs training. I have been sent a crab apple tree Christmas present via a mail order company. It's a year old and apparently needs training as it has branches on the lower 2feet and the leader is 3 feet with some leaves still attaches at the top. There are buds along the length of the leader. How to I get the tree to have branches at the top instead of the bottom? All help appreciated. I have a photo if it helps.



Hi, if there are buds on the leader stem, or trunk, they will produce the new branches, you don't need to do anything, just wait, Derek.

16 Dec, 2014


As above, just let it grow, preferably in the ground, for a few years. you can then decide how you want to shape it by selective pruning.

if you want branches at the top and no the bottom, just allow the leader to grow to the height you want then don't let it grow higher by taking any growing points out. Remove any lower buds or branches that you don't want, just like you'd grow a standard fuchsia

16 Dec, 2014


Thanks. Have to grow it in a large pot for the moment as space in garden not ready. The leader is already over 5 ft so I'm going to take out the growing tip. It was supplied bare root , should I wait before nipping the growing tip out?

16 Dec, 2014


Do you know what rootstock it is on? it makes a big difference to the eventual height and therefore how you prune it. There may be a label that tells you, usually M followed by a number. There's precise info on this website.

If the label doesn't say perhaps it has the name of the supplier who might tell you. I wouldn't do anything yet unless you really can't find out. Trying to keep a big tree small by pruning is not necessarily a good idea.It will encourage the lower branches that you say you don't want. If you want a bare trunk cutting just the leader is the worst way to go about it. Unless you have a dwarfing rooting stock trying to keep it to five feet wil not result in a pleasing shape without constant supervision.

17 Dec, 2014

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