How to Prune Semi-Dwarf Apple Trees

Views: 16288 | Last Update: 2009-02-04
Pruning a semi-dwarf apple tree is similar to pruning a full-sized apple tree, where the top is pruned in a bowl shape to allow sunshine into the interior branches. Trim back a semi-dwarf apple tree to encourage more fruit production with instructions... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to prune semi dwarf apple trees. There's so many different types of apple trees, and many of the varieties will have dwarf varieties, but they all follow the same rules when you prune them. You want to prune about one third of the stems out, so that the main branches gets more attention, and more energy, and then that way, you'll get even more fruit on your trees, so let's follow some rules, so when you're pruning any kind of fruit tree, the goal is to cut out a lot of the random branches, towards the top of the tree, because those are usually the more fruity branches, that's going to produce the more fruit, and you want to thin it out about one third the size each year, and that way, it won't just get tall and lanky, and it will fill up, and you'll get a lot more fruit quicker, and so just by cutting out, see the lighter colored branches, you can get a lot more fruit, and you just trim them out, and even it out, so there's more sun that gets into the middle branches, and the tree will do much better. If you have a fruit tree that's been established, and it's really tall, and not producing fruit, and you have not pruned it very much, then you can actually cut out some of the top branches, and what you're making, is called a vase cut. By doing that, you're forcing most of the growth, back down to the bottom part of the tree, and you'll get a lot more fruit for the next year, so when you're pruning any type of a tree, you want to be really careful to cut it at the right angle. For example, if it's a large branch, you want to cut first at one side, and then the other side, and then you're cutting that whole heavy branch off, because if you just cut from one angle, it might actually hurt some of the bark, and get into the main trunk, and you never want to hurt the main trunk, because you will lose a tree, if it gets too damaged, and you don't want to cut it too far out either, where the C, D cut is, because what happens, is then it gets too much moisture, and it will rot, and there's too much dead material. You want to cut it right at a little bit of an angle, leaving one to two inches, right at where the tree is reading, with the main trunk. Same thing, you never want to cut right up to the trunk line, and make a solid cut, because what happens, is the tree gets very damaged, and sometimes, it will eventually kill the tree, because it doesn't have bark to protect the main trunk, and that is what's needed. By pruning your semi dwarf apple trees, the result will be wonderful. Instead of having a lanky tree that has Medusa like branches, it will be more even, and the sun will get into the center of the tree, and all of the fruit on the tree will ripen much better, than if you didn't prune it, so by just taking a little bit of time each winter, and pruning your trees, you will have such beautiful fruit, the next year.