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Apple tree recently severely pruned by hubby (kill or cure). Do you think it will recover and be worthwhile saving as we are relandscaping our back garden in December? Ta folks.




Hi WL,
That looks like a very healthy tree and sometimes a radical prune is necessary, I'm forever lopping bits of ours, bit too eager with the saw, ahem.
I'm not a pruning expert, but the wise books tell us to cut away any branches growing inwards, for the tree's own sake. The better the airflow, "ventilation" if you like, the happier the tree will be. Recently at gardening club, a speaker on fruit trees told us that there was an old adage about this - that they believed it should be possible for a pigeon to fly through the heart of the branches/that you could toss a hat through it!
So the cuts should be made just above the little nubby bud bits that will shoot out in future if they are facing OUTwards, not inwards.
Re is it worthwhile saving - that's purely up to how much you like those particular apples I think?

21 Oct, 2010


I would have had a lovely crop of apples this year but a lot were windfalls...the tree was so large and unkempt that the apples were quite inaccessible (and they got worms too). I would like to save it so I will give it a's too late to follow your pruning instructions I'm afraid but I will keep note of it for our 'revived' take a positive attitude!

The apples this year that we did harvest I put in the freezer, cut up ready for apple pies or crumble and they've worked fine. A vote for keeping then. Thanks Weeding.

21 Oct, 2010


What you may get is a lot of 'water shoots'. These are long whippy growths. You need to thin them out so they are not crowding each other and then cut each one back to 2 or 3 leaf buds. Leave alone any which you want to grow on as replacement branches.

21 Oct, 2010


Owdboggy....would that be as soon as the whippy growths appear or would I wait until spring? The whippy growths....are they the same as suckers that grow from the bottom of the tree? and would I just cut off any bottom growth (suckers) too? Ta.

21 Oct, 2010


The sappy growths will appear almost anywhere on the branches which have been pruned, but usually at the cut points. They are not the same as any which appear from the roots. They are suckers from the rootstock and should be removed in the same way as one removes rose suckers. I am about to begin pruning my apple trees as soon as the leaves have fallen, but you could leave it until early Spring, personal preference and time pressure.
Had another look at the tree and that central branch with the exposed sap wood should be pruned back to below the damage as soon as possible. I think also you could remove some of the larger branches which are crossing over the centre of the tree. Do that fairly soon.

21 Oct, 2010


I will pass on your instructions to hubby and we'll be sure to follow your advice this weekend at the latest. It's a big help to tap into your knowledge, Owdboggy. Thank you.

I'm not familiar with pruning rose suckers either so expect I will find the information somewhere on GOY.

21 Oct, 2010


Suckers are removed by finiding the area of the main root from which they have sprung and pulling them off, or cutting away the piece of root to which they are attached. If you leave a piece of the sucker then it may well regrow.

21 Oct, 2010 that (I think) Owdboggy. Thanks.

21 Oct, 2010


: 0 ))

22 Oct, 2010


A few years ago, we had an apple tree in the wrong place, so decided to chop it back and dig it out and put it somewhere else, I told hubby it will never survive after that chop back and re-plant, but eh guess what, years later it sprouted new growth and flowers now and fruits, it took it a long while to recover but recover it did. Oh me of little faith. OH just laughs and says I know nothing. lol. which of course is true, ours was cut back more than yours whistonlass, so my vote is to give it a chance, it might just surprise you.

23 Oct, 2010


Thanks for your vote of confidence, OOil....I will give it a did produce a crop of apples this year so with some TLC we should see it crop again given time :)

23 Oct, 2010

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