An Apple a Day
As promised, here I have written about apple trees and my pruning techniques.
Here is one of my clients apple tree, such a beautiful, gnarly thing don't you think? Probably 60+ years old and had the been trained for many years.
But now the tree has not been seen to for over 5 years and has a build up of pest, diseases and dead.
You looking at this picture are more than likely thinking 'WOW, such a beautiful tree, but how on earth would I start by pruning this tree?!', what I say is just get stuck in! You have 2 hands, weald a saw and a pair of secateur in each hand.
When I start with any tree I like to start by pruning low then moving high after, remembering the 3D's and a C (Dead, Damaged, Diseased & Crossing) and remove all of these problems first. Also as mentioned previously in the last blog post, shrubs and trees like to be pruned into a goblet ship, so removing another growth to remove are inwards towards the centre of the tree.
When you have removed all of that, take a step back, have a small rest and look at the tree. Once you have finished having a heart attach from how much growth you have removed, now we need to start reducing all the long growth.
Do not worry! Apple trees are one of the strongest trees about and I promise they will respond, you are having to remember that you are regenerating the tree after years of neglect and making it easier when it comes to picking the fruit.
Moving back to pruning, reducing the long growths, generally you are looking to reduce it to 3-5 buds, but if you have large buds a couple of buds away, aim for that as it is a fruiting bud.
Hopefully now you have an apple tree into a shape you are wanting, remember to disinfect the tools when pruning and all the waste from the tree should be burnt or placed in a green waste bin, this is to help reduce spread of pest and disease.