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What is the Best Time to Prune My Apple Tree?

One question we that is often asked of us this time of year pertains to the best time
to prune apple trees.

Pruning of the trees should be done in the dormant period. This is the time span from
when the trees drop their fruit in late fall to late February and early March before the
buds swell.
What you are trying to accomplish from pruning is to ensure good fruit production.
This will also allow for proper light and air flow, which helps in the management of
The rule of thumb is that you normally do not want to remove more than a third
of the branches from the tree at one pruning.

Sometimes, on older trees that have not been maintained for years, you might have
to prune more aggressively the first year knowing you will have a lot of unproductive
sucker growth the next growing season.

Fruit tree pruning is an annual job, so the smaller trees are easier to manage and to
take care of. That is why if you want to plant fruit trees, save yourself a lot of headaches
and get the dwarf variety that are disease resistant.

Besides annual pruning, chemical applications will need to be applied throughout the
spring and growing season.

So, getting the fruit you want can be quite costly, time consuming and unproductive
if pruning and treatments are not done properly.
At the bottom of this blog, | have included a Kansas State University link to a
demonstration video which provides a clear visual explanation of fruit tree pruning.

| have also provided a link to an explanation of what is involved in the harvesting of
healthy fruit contained in a publication from Purdue University on managing pests
in home fruit plantings.
We at Arbor Care do fruit tree pruning and planting of fruit trees, so give us a call or
email us if this is something you would like for us to do for you.
Check back weekly for our latest blog post to help keep you informed and updated to
the things that we see out in the field that can be beneficial for the care of your

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