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apple tree branches not straight


I have an apple tree, which is quite young, 3 years or so, and this year is giving a lot of apples. 

The branches are not coping well with the weight and are combing down, they are not straight, and i fear some of them might even break because of the weight

Any suggestion on what can i do here? Even without the apples, the branches were not pointing up, so  i might need to use some support/fence to force them to grow up?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,917
    edited July 2022
    A three year old tree is too young to bear more than one or two apples ... I would take them all off ... at the most I would leave one per branch.  The branches are not strong enough to take weight yet, and anyway a young tree needs to put all its energies into growing, not producing fruit.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,224
    edited July 2022
    It depends on what shape you plan the tree to become @Javi.xeneize
    Apples need constant support if not growing them into a standard tree shape. If you are training long limbs into an espalier shape, or fan say, they will need life long support,  as unlike other trees they don't "set" and will continue to bend up or down.
    If it's just a case of doing something for now, then a bamboo cane to take the weight will help until pruning time.
  • Javi.xeneizeJavi.xeneize Posts: 179
    Don’t know enough about the shape, i just want it to produce apples, that’s it

    Here is a pic of it

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,965
    @Javi.xeneize, it looks like there are too many apples in each cluster which are weighting the branches down. It would be better for the tree if you carefully cut off the middle one or two  apples from each cluster, leaving a space between each apple if you can and only leaving one or two at the most on each branch.

    It's hard to dispose of potentially tasty apples when you've been waiting for them to grow, but believe me, it's much better for the tree, especially when it's young. The apples that are left then have room to grow bigger.

    If you don't want to do that, then you could try putting a cane into the ground beside each cluster and carefully tying it to the branch to support the weight.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,224
    I would call that shape a fan. As it's against the fence it needs support.  Look up how to train, prune for this shape. The tips of the limbs need to point down to continue to grow length, but yours looks like it needs cutting into shape and tying into wires on the fence. It is still young yet @Javi.xeneize and needs a couple more years of trained growth to come into full fruit.
  • Javi.xeneizeJavi.xeneize Posts: 179
    Ok, I will remove the fruit then…

    in terms of training, any good reading on how I should do it and how the branches are expected to grow? I want to learn about it and understand what I’m doing

  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,224
    I think removing fruit is a bit late now, maybe just leave two/three a limb. As for advice,  there are alot of "how to" to be found on fb or Youtube 
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,262

    I'd recommend this site for information about your apple tree.  Young trees need pruning and training so they grow shorter, thicker branches and a sturdier trunk, more able to bear fruit, in the shape you want.
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
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