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Pruning apple trees - any useful resources?

sabeehasabeeha Posts: 292
Hello,

I have two apple trees in my garden, a type of crab apple, and an 'Elstar' (which is growing as an 'espalier')

In my other thread, it was noted that they required thinning - I am also thinking they probably need a prune of some sort?

Has anyone come across any resources that are very very simple to follow? 

I have watched a few videos, and read a few articles, but to be honest, i'm still struggling to understand 100% - maybe theres a good book I could read? A lot of terms are unfamiliar to me, which is why I think I'm struggling.

Also, I think my trees need different methods - the espalier grown Elstar looks like it probably needs a light trim, whereas the crab looks like it needs more attention.

Thank you!


Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,167
    An excellent book which I constantly recommend is

    Harry Baker’s “Growing Fruit”.


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,517
    My 'bible' is the late great John Cushnie's 'How to Prune' ... it tackles every sort of plant, especially fruit, and includes espalier apples and pears, cordons etc etc etc.  

    https://www.waterstones.com/book/how-to-prune/john-cushnie/9781856268851 (looks as if you'll have to go to Amazon for it).

    https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2010/jan/03/john-cushnie-obituary kneel

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,801
    edited August 2018
    I know how you feel, Sabeeha! It's one thing to read about it, then when you're confronted with the actual plant it's another matter. Watching videos is good, because you can see an actual plant, but even then the person demonstrating doesn't always explain why 'this' rather than 'that'. I've just borrowed the RHS Pruning & Training book from the library and I think it's really good - I'm going to ask for a copy for my birthday. Pruning is a lot easier if you understand the basic principles of why and where as well as how - this book has that too, and covers SO many plants.

    Edited to add a link: http://www.rhsshop.co.uk/productdetails.aspx?id=10000574&itemno=9780241282908
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • sabeehasabeeha Posts: 292
    Thank you pansyface and dovefromabove, will go have a further look.

    LG_ yes, its so much easier watching someone do it, but then every tree looks different! Thank you for the suggestion, quite a few to consider :)


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,517
    edited August 2018
    Late July and August is absolutely the right time to 'Summer Prune' espalier apples and pears, if that's any help 

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=212  and this is about shortening the softer new growth.

    More formative pruning of fruit trees (other than plums and cherries) is done in the winter
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=90


    Plums and cherries should be pruned in May/June when the sap is rising and the tree is in active growth to prevent them contracting Silver Leaf disease. 

    Hope that helps to make sense of it  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • sabeehasabeeha Posts: 292
    Thank you for the links! I think (for me) this definitely needs a proper sit down rather than a random 'skim through a few pages'  :| 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,517
    Yes ... I had to study the principles and keep going out and looking at the trees then coming back and checking .... then I had the bright idea of taking the book out there with me which made life easier oops  ... but you do need to study the written bits as well as the diagrams  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • sabeehasabeeha Posts: 292
    I did not think of taking the diagrams out with me to compare, yes, very logical thing to do!  Thank you for that :) 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,517
    Glad it’s not just me duh!  ;)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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