How to Prune an Apple Tree

  • Apple trees should be pruned in the late winter or very early spring.

  • Prune last year’s new growth back every season,

Apple trees are very versatile and come in several varieties, shapes and sizes. They are very tolerant of different pruning methods.

Goals for Pruning

There are normally two goals when pruning an apple tree:

  • On young trees, to encourage a strong and solid framework
  • On mature trees, to maintain a manageable shape and encourage fruit production

The Best Time to Prune

The best time to prune apple trees is in late winter or very early spring before any new growth starts. Apples flower and produce fruit on long-lived, stubby twigs called “spurs” often called “old wood,” which means we’ll want to prune last year’s new growth back every season.

Pruning Mature and Neglected Trees

Pruning Young Trees