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How to prune an old apple tree

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How to prune an old apple tree Empty How to prune an old apple tree

Post  Kay Burton on 3/26/2020, 8:23 am

Pruning an old apple tree must be done in three stages.

1. Shorten the trunk. Apple trees and pears can grow up to 6 - 8 m. This is a lot, it is inconvenient to harvest from this height, the fruits fall to the ground and deteriorate. As a result, most of the crop goes to waste. Therefore, the trunk must be cut at a height of 2 m. It needs to be cut just above a large branch. A large “stump” should not be left: over time, it will dry out, a hollow will form in its place, moisture will begin to fall there and the tree will rot on the vine.

2. Cut thickened branches. First of all, large branches that grow inward. They greatly obscure the crown, air stagnates there, and such conditions are ideal for the propagation of pathogens. Ultimately, the tree should take the shape of a bowl.

But keep in mind that thick branches on trees should never be sawed in one go - in most cases they break off under their own weight, the bark bulges up and then the wound does not heal for a long time. Therefore, you need to cut such branches in three stages:

At a distance of 50 - 75 cm from the base, file a branch from below to about half its diameter.
Step back up a branch of 15 - 20 cm and again cut it to half the thickness, but from above. Under the weight of its own weight, the branch will break off along the line of cuts.
The remaining branch must be sawn off to the ring.

3. Trim lateral skeletal branches. The maximum length of large branches should not exceed 2.5 m. Cut them the same way as the trunk - just above the branch. A branch is chosen that looks outward of the crown, and not inward.
After such a cardinal pruning, vertical shoots, the so-called tops, will actively grow on the tree. Most of them will need to be removed, and it’s better to do it as soon as they appear: you can simply pinch them with your fingers, without waiting until they are lignified. Part of the tops, if they grow in the right places, can be left to form skeletal or fruit branches from them.
Kay Burton
Kay Burton

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How to prune an old apple tree Empty Re: How to prune an old apple tree

Post  plantoid on 3/26/2020, 4:26 pm

Before you do it,  if the tree is very old , In early spring whilst the sap is rising you can also cut an apple tree to a stump about three feet high and use some of the growing leaders  to slip in down behind the bark in the stump where you cut the tree off , making the leaders about  14 inches  inches long and giving it a wedge shape point  , so there is a fair bit of cambium layer going to be in direct contact with the trees cambium layer then use a sealer wax to keep the bugs & airborne infections out . 

 Basically you remove most of the hard old wood & aged  old bark  giving the bole left  an easier time to send the sap up to the new grafts  .   Sicons on trees are best  if there is a bud  at the end for this shows there is life in the tree. 

After several years the stump will eventually form a callous and heal over the cut area , you could even be getting fruit on them  this year if you do the grafts in time and don't make them too long  . 

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