Dwarf apple tree branch’s bending

SammymummySammymummy SurreyPosts: 122
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 LincolnshirePosts: 2,068
    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.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 15,267
    edited 14 July
    Apart from needing to be constantly staked, for life, M27 trees also need extra support when they fruit.

    The best thing to do is to “maypole” the tree for the period of its fruit bearing, then remove the maypole after the fruit is picked. 

    Take a 1” diameter or cross section stake, about six feet long, and attach a staple to the top.

    Tie a loop of twine about six inches long through the staple.

    Hammer the stake into the soil as close to the existing stake as you can.

    Attach strings to the loop of twine, one string for each fruit-bearing branch. 

    Tie the other end of each string to a branch, just tightly enough to support the branch but not to put it under a lot of stress.

    Like this

    This tree is growing in a pot, so not very easy to see, but the system is the same.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • SammymummySammymummy SurreyPosts: 122
    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 LincolnshirePosts: 2,068
    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 ;
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