How to Prune Neglected Apple Trees

Views: 15425 | Last Update: 2009-04-30
Prune neglected apple trees by cutting them back one third every year, leaving the main branches, but getting rid of scraggly side branches. Learn to prune apple trees into a circular shape without a lot of bushiness using instructions from a sustainable... 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 neglected apple trees. Now if you've bought property or live on property that's been homesteaded a long time ago, or if you've got property where you've had old trees on it then you probably have some apple trees that have been neglected. And I have a lot of trees on my property that haven't been maintained in years and years and years. And a lot of them are still producing fruit. So there is hope for those trees and there is a chance that they will keep producing for many years to come, but there's an easy way to prune them and let's talk about it. So this tree right here hasn't been pruned much, you can tell, it's just kind of got a Medusa look to it. And when you're pruning never prune more than one third of it off at a time. You don't want it to be cut back all the way 'cause then it might just die or you'll never get fruit on it again 'cause it'll take years to grow. So the trick is to prune it back one third and then one third the next year. And you want to cut out all the little side branches and just leave some main branches. You don't want it to be too bushy. And you just want to trim it back and make it more circular instead of more of a Medusa looking plant. And that way it'll produce lots of fruit next year as well. Even if you don't prune your neglected trees, a lot of times they'll produce fruit anyway, but it's always good to prune them back at least one third every year, that way they'll fill in very much for the next year. And make sure to remember that trees, like apple trees, will only produce for a certain amount of years. So your neglected apple trees might just have passed their prime and they will never produce fruit again, just 'cause they're old. And if that's the case, chop them down and put in some fresh young trees, and that way you can have apples again in about three to five years.