apple tree pruning: before and after

I’m thrilled to have 2 apple trees in my new-to-me backyard.  However, the big one was overgrown and the little one has a big pruning wound on it and needs some TLC.  Although I know the basics of tree pruning, I thought it would be worthwhile to call in some professionals for this first year.  Here’s the before and after (left and right), for the record, so that I can do it myself in some years (note to self to call in the professionals every 2 to 3 years).  You’ll notice the big one is quite opened up compared to before, and they didn’t take much off the little one because it needs its leaves to try to recover:

0317mar

OK it’s a little hard to see with my neighbour’s trees in the background! How about this:

0317mar1

Better?  You can see more sky between branches in the ‘after’ pictures on the right, right?

Want to know more?  Here’s a recent video on tree pruning.

A few tree pruning tips I’ve gleaned from it and other sources:

  • it’s time to prune apple trees! (roses in a couple more weeks)
  • prune spring-flowering trees and shrubs like lilacs and cherries after they flower
  • get rid of branches that grow straight up and those that cross over each other -> aim for an open, vase-shaped tree that has space between branches
  • prune from the bottom up with hand pruners or loppers, just outside the collar where the branch connects to the tree
  • don’t use paint or pruning sealers at this time of year! Balsam is good.
  • clean tools with a wire brush and rubbing alcohol

Here’s hoping for lots of apples in the fall!

 

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