Sue Sanderson

Sue Sanderson – our horticulturist expert

Sue Says
Pruning apple trees normally begins immediately after planting. Remove the central stem to just above the highest side branch. For the following 3 years, prune only the tips of the remaining main branches by one third in winter. Aim for about six main branches which will form the frame of your tree, with fruiting sub branches growing off of them. From the fourth year, some sub branches can be pruned out at the union where they join the main branch, to allow new sub branches to take their place.
However, if dealing with overcrowded mature trees then do some renovation pruning to restore the tree to a nice open shape and improve air circulation and light penetration. But be careful not to remove more than 25% of the canopy per year. This type of pruning should also be undertaken in winter. First remove all damaged, dead, crossing and diseased branches. Then remove any crowded branches to create a nice, even framework. Once the unwanted branches have been thinned out, begin a regular pruning regime, removing older fruiting spurs so that younger ones can replace them. This renovation process needs to spread over several years though so will require a bit of patience and may also reduce the crop initially

Return to Q & A home page


Why You Need a Unique Forum Account

Feel free to browse and search the forum for topics that interest you without creating an account. To participate and contribute you will need to register and create an account.

This will enable you to create your own posts, comment on other posts, upload any photos you wish to share and so much more.

Why You Cannot Use Your Thompson & Morgan Account

The main Thompson & Morgan website is completely separate from this Forum. As such, the Forum requires a completely separate account.