When is the best time to prune apple trees?

Should apple trees be pruned in the winter or summer?

Historically it was felt that the pruning of fruit trees should be undertaken in the winter, but over the past years there has been a lean towards pruning in the summer months.

Why should I prune my apple tree?

The reasons for pruning are straightforward:

•    To remove unwanted parts ie shoots, branches, roots and fruit buds

•    To take advantage of the sunlight which helps to colour and ripen the fruit. Let air through the branches. The removal of congested and crossing branches enables the tree to produce better quality fruit in appearance, flavour and size.

•    To reduce pest and disease- by removing damaged or diseased wood

•    To limit the size and shape to the space allotted to each tree

What are the advantages of summer pruning:

•    Increases fruit bud for the following year
•    Extra sunlight available to colour and ripen the fruit
•    Reduces excessive vegetative growth

If I prune my apple tree in summer is there any need to prune in winter?
Winter pruning should be used to re-shape the tree by removing long unwanted branches and also to tidy up the summer pruning

Training step-over applesWe have a selection of step-overs available in the nurseryWhiteApples in the orchard here at Larch CottageApples stored ready for use in The Greenhouse
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