How to Prune McIntosh Apple Trees

Views: 13089 | Last Update: 2009-02-04
To prune McIntosh apple trees, trim the branches into a bowl or vase shape, exposing the innermost branches to more sunlight, and use an angled cut to remove branches so as not to damage the main trunk or create rotting. Maintain a McIntosh apple tree to... 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 all about how to prune McIntosh apple trees. Now McIntosh apples are one of my favorite apples. They're very sweet and very crisp and they are very easy to grow as a plant and as a tree in your fruit garden and there are a few simple rules that you should follow when you are growing them so that you prune them and they will produce even more fruit the next year. So let's go over some of those rules. So when you are 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 are 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. So just by cutting out the lighter colored branches you can get a lot more fruit and you just trim them out and even it out. So there is more sun that gets into the middle branches and the tree will do much better. If you have a fruit tree that has been established and it is 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 are 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 CD cut is because what happens is then it gets too much moisture and it will rot and there is 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 is needed. So by taking the time to prune out about one third of the branches each year and by just making sure that all the dead branches or wimpy branches are removed it will force the tree to become stronger and you'll get even more fruit the next year that you can enjoy all Fall and even through the Winter.