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If I prune off all of the new growth on my apple tree...


By Jensen

Oxfordshire, United Kingdom Gb

If I prune off all of the new growth (last year's growth) on my apple tree every year, will I find that I eventually get no apples, or much less apples than before? The reason I ask is that there seem to be more buds, or buds-to-be, on the new growth, than on the old, thicker wood.




suggest you look at the RHS pruning made easy webpage

20 Feb, 2015


that's the way they grow. the fruiting spur develops over the summer. if the tree is too big remove some of the larger branches leaving fewer fruiting buds.

21 Feb, 2015


RHS will tell you in detail. But first you need to know whether your apple is a tip bearer - has fruit at the ends of the branches - or a spur bearer - has apples along the branches. The idea of pruning is to create lots of spurs - the fruiting cluster - along the branches. But not to let all the energy go into long shoots that you can't reach anyway. Prune the new growth back to almost last years - allow 1-3 more spurs in summer - that will mean the energy can go into the spurs left so they flower well in spring. In winter prune out damaged, diseased, crossing branches - and shorten any wayward branches as you did in summer. Some varieties are very quick and energetic and need a lot of pruning, some need barely anything.

21 Feb, 2015


Just to show - I have Braeburns growing as stepovers (just two long branches grown out along wires) which are on a vigorous rootstock and I tend to prune them 3 times, twice in summer and once in winter. But a Court Pendu Plat I have on a smaller rootstock and I grow as an arched cordon - I just snip the odd branch back. They are just like people - contrary!

21 Feb, 2015


Thanks for the advice, it is very good. I had in fact already visited the RHS website, but I had not noticed the section called Winter regulated pruning.

28 Feb, 2015

How do I say thanks?

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