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.