Future Summer Pruning
|Published: 22nd June 2009 12:16|
By John Sanders
Come August and September will be the time for comfortable summer pruning of apple trees. It is much nicer to do this job in the warmth of the summer than in the chill and damp of the winter.
The important thing is to be able to identify where next springs flowers will form and which but will lead only to producting long shoots with only leaves on it.
This is a leader shoot with the slim leader bud at the tip. The leaves are spaced regularly along and around the stem This type of shoot can be cut back to four or five leaves into the new growth. This will stimulate the tree into making more fruit spurs and allow more energy to go to unripened fruit.
The fruit spur is normally short, often close to the main branch. The fatter bud is surrounded by a rosette of leaves Normally these spurs should be left untoched unless the tree is burdened with masses of small fruit. It may then be wise to remove some of them. Being able to identify the bud by the leaf formation makes it so much easier than in the winter when all the leaves have gone.
Pruning is an essential part of making any tree or shrub more attractive and a better fruiter and flowerer. Take time to look at each stem and cut accurately. With the winter pruning of apple trees, aim to make the centre of the tree clear of shoots and branches so you would be able to throw your hat up through the centre of the tree. That was the advice given to me by an old experienced pruner when I was a lad. It has held good for me for many years.