Ohh delicious apples… Sometimes there’s nothing quite like a crispy fresh apple for a midday snack. Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, golden delicious, whichever your favourite apple is, you can’t go wrong with the burst of flavour. Now, we all know that this delicious fruit grows on trees. So, how do we maintain and care for our wonderful trees? It’s important to routinely tree prune and upkeep the maintenance of an apple tree, otherwise, it may impact the volume of fruit it can provide. Ensuring that you routinely prune your tree can help with growing apples abundantly and will result in a healthy tree. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at all the best ways to properly care for your apple tree. Namely, how to prune your apple tree.
Assess Your Trees Health
First and foremost, it’s important to assess how healthy the tree is. Every plant and tree can show signs of disease in a number of ways. Keeping an eye out on every parts of the tree for these signs of disease is the best first step you can take.
Apple scab is an apple tree disease that leaves warty, brown bumps on the leaves and fruit. It is a fungus that primarily affects trees in areas that have high humidity.
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can destroy fruit and reduce the number of flowers and yield. It may cause stunted growth, blemished fruit, and a velvety covering on leaves and branches. Any apple variety can be affected by powdery mildew, although some varieties are more susceptible than others.
Black rot apple disease can appear in one or a combination of three different forms: black fruit rot, frogeye leaf spot, and black rot limb canker.
Apple rust, which destroys leaves and fruits, is commonly known as cedar apple rust, although it can manifest itself in one of three distinct types of rust fungus. Cedar-apple rust, cedar-hawthorn rust and cedar-quince rust are the three most common apple ruts.
Collar rot is a devastating disease of apple trees. It will induce stunted or delayed development and blooming, yellowing leaves, and leaf drop at first. A canker (dying region) will develop at the base of the tree, girdling and killing it eventually.
Fire blight is a bacterial illness that affects the whole tree and can cause the death of the plant. The dieback of branches, leaves, and blossoms is one sign of fire blight. Discolored, necrotic areas on the bark that are in fact regions of dying branches are other indicators.
Remove Diseased Areas From Tree
Make sure you keep your apple tree pruned. This reduces the foliage available to spread the fungus and encourages healthy circulation through the branches. When spring arrives, apply a commercial fungicide to your apple tree every two weeks as soon as new shoots appear. The best thing about regularly pruning your trees is that it prevents them from developing any pests and diseases in the first place.
Remove diseased, dying, or dead wood by cutting into it deep enough to find healthy wood to ensure that no disease spreads. This included removing any branches that are falling or are damaged. It’s important to make clean cuts when pruning your tree! Don’t forget to clean your equipment between each cut to make sure the spread of disease on the tree is being stopped.
The next step to pruning your tree is thinning it out. This step helps with fruit production and reduces the tree’s vulnerability to pests and disease.
The best way to thin out your tree is by cutting off any branches that go downwards, grow towards the centre of the tree, cross paths with another branch. Continue to prune the tree until there is a good 15 to 30 centimetres of air space around every branch. The smaller the branches are, the closer they can be to each other.
Each one of the cuts you make to the tree during the thinning process should be flush to the tree, leaving no bumps or extra branches sticking out.
You can think of this step as giving the tree a haircut. Not only will it keep the tree looking tidy, but it will help the branches grow strong and thick rather than thin and weak. All you have to do is cut off 20 to 30 per cent of last year’s growth. Depending on the tree, this could be anywhere between 5 centimetres to 1.2 metres back from the tip of each branch.
Unlike the previous steps, this time, the cuts will be made partway into each branch. It’s critical to trim each branch back to a point half a centimetre above a bud that faces in the direction you want it to grow in the next year.
This step stops the tree’s branches from snapping under the weight of fruit and will also activate its growth hormones which will result in an abundant fruit-bearing
If You Need An Extra Hand, We’re Here To Help
We hope this blog post was helpful and informative, hopefully, now you can make a more confident method when you prune apple trees. If you believe you will need some professional help on pruning your tree, you can give us a call and we would love to help you out. Maybe your apple tree is on the larger side and is very tall, in this case, it would be wise not to do it on your own. We at Ultimate Tree Specialist can help you through every step of the way!