How to Prune a Golden Delicious Apple Tree


Golden Delicious, as with all apple trees, needs pruning yearly in order to produce abundant fruit. The first year of the tree's growth will require pruning of the actual limbs, while subsequent years will need pruning of branches. The purpose of pruning is to allow sunlight to reach all areas of the Golden Delicious tree canopy to facilitate fruit growth. Golden Delicious trees are pruned during the late winter after the tree becomes dormant.

First-Year Pruning

Step 1

Remove all dead limbs from the tree using either pruning shears or a pruning saw after inspecting the Golden Delicious tree. Cut the limbs from the tree as close to the main trunk as possible.

Step 2

Select three strong limbs on each side of the trunk of the apple tree to keep. These will become the main limbs of your tree.

Step 3

Remove the remaining limbs from the tree using the saw or shears. Cut the limbs as close to the trunk as possible.

Subsequent-Year Pruning

Step 1

Remove all dead limbs and branches from the tree.

Step 2

Remove any upright limbs, as these will not facilitate fruit growth.

Step 3

Thin and prune away an additional one-quarter of the tree branches and limbs from the tree. This will keep the canopy of the Golden Delicious open for fruit production.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw


  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Growing Apple Trees in the Home Garden
  • Texas A&M University: Home Fruit Production--Apples
Keywords: increase apple yields, prune apple trees, reduce apple pests

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.