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Formative Pruning a Young Apple Tree

Young apple trees should be pruned & trained over it's first years to ensure the tree is well shaped & growing in a way that optimises the trees fruiting ability.

When to prune

  • Dormant Season, avoid frosty & very cold weather

What to use

  • Loppers, pruning saw & secateurs

How to prune

Year 1

  • Reduce the main stem or central leader by half. This is the main stem & doing this will encourage branches & lead to the development of a ‘V’ shaped tree

Year 2

  • Reduce the new main stem or central leader by half, also reduce the lateral shoots by 1/3. Remove any of the lower branches back to the main stem

Year 3

  • Reduce the new main stem or central leader by half, Also reduce the lateral shoots by 1/3. Remove any of the lower branches back to the main stem

Following years

  • Remove all dead, dying & diseased branches
  • Remove any inward growing branches
  • Remove branches that are crossing over or rubbing against each other
  • Reduce all lateral stems by 1/3
  • Remove suckers at base