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Pruning James Grieve apple tree

I have one of these which is a bit of a straggly mess.

Is pruning this something best done in Spring?  Or worth doing this month?


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,313
    There's some advice here from the RHS that I hope gives some tips.
    JG is a lovely dual-purpose apple - we had a very productive tree at home when I was a child - sweet and a bit sour too I loved it.
    Generally winter pruning is for any significant work and it usually encourages new growth.
    Summer pruning helps to restrict growth.
    Good luck
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • There is also an article in the Gardener's World magazine suggesting pruning of Apple Trees should be done whilst the tree is dormant - but the weather shouldn't be freezing either, so I will be doing our apple trees this month.  As Pete.8 suggests a summer prune helps to restrict the growth but if you want to give the tree a more severe prune then now is the time to do it James.
  • Ok, I won't do it just yet though @Guernsey Donkey2 as there are still some leaves on it.  We have had a couple of frosts already though.
  • We still have leaves on our apples trees, we started to prune them today.  The trees are dormant now james - the leaves are just waiting to be blown off, or cut off - it won't do the trees any harm to prune them now, the weather will get colder and frostier and this is the best time to work on them before the frost can damage the fresh wounds that you make.
  • Ok, thanks for the advice @Guernsey Donkey2, I''ll probably do it Saturday as it's going to be dry.

    A little off topic, but I wondered if you could help on another thing ... I have a plum tree, very mature, which I cut a bit in summer but not enough really and some stragglers still need cutting.  I keep reading about silver something-or-other and how cutting in the dry of summer is important for them to avoid this possible infection ... what do you think?
  • I can't help you with your plum tree question james - you could start another thread or run through past posts on plum trees - someone else may have asked the same question.
    We have two plum trees and they struggle to produce more than a couple of dozen fruits - we feed and prune them but don't get the amount of fruit that we had hoped for. 
  • Generally stone fruit shoud be summer pruned to stop excess bleeding of sap and infection with silver leaf.
    AB Still learning

  • Thank you Allotment Boy, that is one less job for now then.  I have never seen silver leaf on our trees.
  • You might be too far south for it to be much of a problem, GD.  It tends to happen in extended cold and wet conditions and freezing of freshly cut surfaces likely plays a part.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • That's good to know, thanks Bob, perhaps being so far south is why I had never heard of the problem.
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