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How to prune cooking apple tree

We moved in last summer and have a cooking apple tree (as well as several other fruit trees) that from the looks of it has been pretty much neglected over the last few years.

i have been looking up how to go about pruning these trees but I am unsure of how to prune this cooker.  It has a main central 'trunk'/branch which is around 3 metres tall now, with many further branches coming off it further down.  Can I cut this central stem to open up the centre and try to keep the tree at a more manageable height for the future.

and if so, do I then have to put a special paint on this cut?



  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    Hi Tilly, yes, you can cut back the leader to open up the centre if that's the kind of tree you want. Don't worry about painting over the wound, when I was at college we were told this just seales in bugs. As long as the cut is clean and you don't leave a big stub it will heal over much quicker than you think. There's lots of good videos on Youtube about pruing old and young apple trees. Look at Stephen Hayes' videos, he's very good and a really great bloke. Good luck.

  • Lovely! Thanks, I,ll be out chopping away tomorrow in the wind and rain...

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