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Pruning a young apple tree

Bagpuss57Bagpuss57 South West Posts: 256
I need some guidance on when to prune my young Bramley seedling tree. It's quite small (approx 3yrs old) but I wanted to prune it this year to get a better shape. I read you can do it late winter to avoid frost damage but if I wait till march is that too late?. Last year we had our worst weather in march. Maybe I can just do it now? But if we get really cold weather will it affect it? 

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  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 4,987
    This is an ongoing problem for all of us. The unseasonably mild winter so far is as confusing to plants as it is to us. I see  no problem doing it now though, the trees should be dormant. Don't go too hard though, remember the old adage, you can always take a bit more later if you need to, but you can't put any back once cut. Prune again in late summer to encourage fruiting spurs.
    AB Still learning

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,528
    I've recently planted apple and pears and found the pruning suggestions helpful in these articles-
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=858 a general guide

    https://www.chrisbowers.co.uk/article/apple-trees-planting-pruning-pollination/ for a bit more detail

    Do you know what the rootstock is? this will determine the ultimate size of your tree.
    Also, Bramley is a 'partial tip bearer' rather than the usual 'spur bearer' trees, so it is pruned a bit differently - the RHS article mentions it
    It's going to get cold in the next few weeks, so you could do it then, but you should be ok for a while yet.

    Prune in winter to shape your tree and encourage growth
    Prune in summer to restrict growth
    A bit of both and you should get the tree you want
    Good luck
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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