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Dwarf apple tree branch’s bending

SammymummySammymummy Posts: 202
Hi everyone
Would appreciate your thoughts. I have an apple tree on M27 rootstock and due to fruits, its branches are bending. I have already thinned the fruits but do you think I need to remove all of them not to risk the branches breaking off?  It’s been in the garden for nearly 4 years and never had this many fruits before. I have attached a few photos.
Many thanks!


  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,256
    I have found dwarf rootstock apples need permanent support if they are not going to be grown columnar.  I have one and have given both the main stem and side branches supports, mine is about as old as yours.
    At the moment the support is heavy duty , but in time it may be able to reduce the support to lighter canes.
    You have a better crop than mine,  so will need the heavy duty support even more, and will have to decide at pruning time what way you want it to grow  putting support in to train it to.
  • SammymummySammymummy Posts: 202
    Thank you both purplerallim and pansyface for taking trouble to write and attach photos (and drawing)! I did not realise dwarf stock trees need a stake for life 😕 I will have to adopt one or the other it seems.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,256
    Other trees like plums harden off , so once you get them in the shape you want you can remove the support,  I too was surprised at having to keep apples supported @Sammymummy
  • SammymummySammymummy Posts: 202
    edited February 2021
    Hi everyone
    Hoping for more advices about my dwarf apple tree... 
    I am wondering whether I should cut the main branch (2nd photo) so that a new shoot will form from the opposite side. I also have another apple tree about 4 years old and it remains a stick with three branches with no flowers so far (3rd photo). What should I do to this stick? The bendy one is Royal Gala and the stick is Cox’s Orange Pippin if that helps.

    Thank you in advance!
  • In the top picture whether you cut or not depends on how you want it to grow/shape. If you want a taller tree cut now and one of the other shoots will take over, or if its still bendy you should extend the support you have doubling it in hight to tie the limb to. Either way cutting now would encourage growth.
    The same could be said for the other tree as far as cutting for growth now, but if it is near the fence how about bending the limbs down to encourage growth pinning them to the fence, and then taking the top off the upright limb, back as far as you would like new growth to start.
  • Thank you @purplerallim for re-visiting my post and for your advice. I actually posted a new thread (rather impatiently) but your advice is very much appreciated. The second tree is over a foot away from the fence, and in hindsight, I should’ve planted it against the wall.
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