Forum home Problem solving

Pruning a young apple tree

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? 


  • 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 Posts: 10,963
    I've recently planted apple and pears and found the pruning suggestions helpful in these articles- a general guide 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

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Sign In or Register to comment.