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Apple, pruning

This Spartan apple was planted a little over a year ago as a bare root maiden (? it had no branches, being basically a 'stick' with roots).  It's on semi-dwarfing rootstock and I would like to keep it fairly small in a typical goblet shape.

I'm trying and failing to understand summer pruning and not sure if it's required here.  I had already pruned out some growth from the main stem to leave these five (I was also going to remove the two small whippy shoots in the centre of the tree).  Should I also be shortening the main five branches this month/next month?

Thank you.


  • FireFire LondonPosts: 7,159
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,107
    This is what I've done for one of my new trees that are on an M27 (dwarfing) rootstock that I'm growing as dwarf pyramid (about 7 ft tall) - 
    As this is your tree's 1st year, for summer pruning, leave all the branches that come from the main stem alone completely. Any branches that have grown from the new branches (sub-laterals) prune back to 3-4" or 3 leaves, this will encourage fruit bearing spurs to form

    That's it for this summer

    This winter-
     Cut back the central leader to leave approximately 9 inches of new growth, ensuring that you prune at a bud that points in the opposite direction to the last pruning. This ensures that the central stem will remain as straight and upright as possible. The side branches should be pruned to a downward pointing bud to leave approximately 8 inches of the new seasons growth.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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