Pruning an Apple Tree
I bought an Apple Tree from the nursery, and I am wanting to choose the Central leader. I am having trouble because near the top, there are two obvious choices for potential leaders (I think). The issue is that the older taller but thicker one kind of branches off at an angle before returning to a vertical.
Is that ok to be the central leader since it is not exactly "straight".
you see the one in the picture that kind of juts off to the left and then starts to go vertical. it has many other branches coming off of it that I believe I will have to prune (correct me if I am wrong) but I don't know if I should keep it as the central leader due to that angle or choose its smaller brother at the crotch right there. it is about as tall as the other one, but has a smaller diameter.
Every video or diagram I look at concerning pruning doesn't illustrates an nice straight leader (the one on the right), but I am nervous about cutting the thicker branch.
Last edited: 15 November 2017 04:00:43
Hi Grandpa, what sort of apple is it, do you want it to grow tall, that may seem a silly question but i have a braeburn which is 10 years old now and it has several main branches which i just prune every year and it fruits lovely and it isn't very tall which means i can reach all the apples. I must admit that when i planted it i knew nothing about growing trees ?
depends on what you want to do with the tree, cordon, espalier, step over, bush tree, full tree in a lawn (orchard style)?
if it was me (and you were growing it as a full tree) i'd take the larger branch out and keep the straightest leader, then I would reduce all the branches length by 1/3, you may even have to thin the number of branches, I prefer 5 main branches per tree maximum (looking like spokes of a wheel when looked at from above), it just makes pruning easier and gives a better crop in the long run
it looks drastic but you want good growth next year(particularly the roots), not fruit - so remember that you also need to remove any flowers next year (after they've finished flowering of course)
This particular one is an Anna Apple Tree.
I'm not sure about how tall I want it to be. I'd like it to be tallish. I'd like to be able to walk under it. If that means I have to use a ladder to pick Apples, I won't mind so much. If I can't walk under it then it will take up too much space in my backyard.
I just bought the tree, so drastic doesn't mean much to me at this point. I was just concerned about the bigger branch healing and so forth.
I had to look up the different styles. they all look cool, but orchard styles is what I am wanting. So I will cut off the thicker branch. thin out the rest. cut them back by 1/3 but at a point right after outward facing buds?