How to Trim Apple Trees

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Trimming your apple trees must be done every year in order to keep producing healthy, large apples.

Apple trees are not only beautiful to look at, but provide us with delicious treats for years to come. In order to keep your apple tress healthy and productive, you will need to know the best way to keep them trimmed. Trimming your apple trees properly will ensure a healthy, robust harvest come springtime.

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Wait until the late fall to trim your apple trees. You will want to wait until the leaves are gone from the trees for easier pruning. Be sure never to prune them after they start blooming. Also, you should never prune once the temperature goes below 20 degrees F, as this can cause the trimmed limbs to die.

You will need some gardening tools before you begin pruning. You will need a small pruning saw, a saw that is mounted on a long pole, lopping shears and pole loppers. The pole saws and loppers will be used to prune branches that you cannot reach on your own. You can purchase most of these tools at your local garden center or nursery.

Begin by cutting off all suckers and small branches. Look for small branches that grow upright from larger ones. These are the limbs that you should cut. To leave plenty of room for apples to grow, you will want to trim branches in the thickest parts of the tree. This will help to maximize the size of the apples.

Look for crossing limbs or limbs that are tangled. When limbs are allowed to rub up against each other, they can damage the apples and cause stunted growth. Trim back any limbs that are tangled up.

Limiting the tree growth is something that many gardeners like to do with their apple trees. This allows more room for the effective spraying of pesticides and allows more light to get to the branches of the trees. To limit apple tree growth, simply crop off the top center of the apple tree. This is a very effective way of limiting the growth of the tree and encouraging the growth of larger apples.

You should also remove any branches that are growing towards the center of the tree. These branches do not get adequate sunlight and will keep other, healthier branches from getting the sunlight that they need.

Remember, pruning must be done each and every year. Choose a time of the year to prune your apple trees and you will be more likely to stick to doing it the same way and time each year.

Image credits: Martha Stewart

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