Forum home Problem solving

Crab Apple Tree - Pruning Advice


I’m currently pruning a crab apple tree in my back yard. After watching a few YouTube videos I’ve got a start on it but I have a question. There are some really tall branches at the top, see pics below. Am I meant to cut these off or trim then back or leave them? Any advice is appreciated. 


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,154
    *Bump* for any pruning experts  :)
  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil Posts: 682
    edited March 2020
    Since the crab apple is grown more for looking nice than the fruit being easy to pick I think it is just a matter of personal taste. Do you want a taller tree with a more natural shape or would you think it will fit in the area better if kept a bit shorter. My first crab apple has only been pruned to remove diseased branches and removing any crossing branches but I want it to get as tall as possible to provide a bit of shelter to the rest of the garden where I have it growing. Monty Donn was talking about apple and pear pruning last night and mentioned about trying to create an open structure with gaps in between branches that a pigeon could fly through but I think the aim of the open structure is to help keep the fruit healthy so on a crab apple maybe this is not as important. I think you should just go with what you think looks nice. On the topic of youtube videos I was shocked at how many people have viewed this one I posted when pruning one of my Gala apple trees.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,725
    I agree ... but remember that pruning at this time of year encourages growth so you may get a loaf of those whippy water shoots and it could end up looking a bit like a bog brush. 

    Major structural pruning should be done in the dormant period ... Nov Dec Jan ish. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

Sign In or Register to comment.