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4 messages
23/10/2013 at 15:44

I have a very large' Bramley Seedling' cooking apple tree.  It's still producing loads of apples.  I just need advice on when it is best to give it a really good prune.  It's so large I can't reach half the apples anymore.

23/10/2013 at 15:55

RHS advice.

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/AdviceSearch/profile.aspx?PID=90

Renovating old trees should be done over a number of years. If you cut too much off at once, it will send up a lot of non fruiting watershoots.

23/10/2013 at 23:15

Thanks fidget bones

24/10/2013 at 00:18

Two years ago I pruned a large apple tree ...reduced it's height, removed branches that grew inwards and crossed other branches.  Removed dead wood.  I shortened all growth on branches ...this was a spur bearer.....and expected a spurt of water shoots the following year.  I reduced ...shortened or removed ..these last year.  This summer it produced a bumper crop.  The tree is accessible and manageable.  I have just pruned again in the same way. ....but now not so drastically

I have just done the same thing to 2 more large apples, one of which is a bramley.  They were producing fruit way out of reach, etc.  I have cut these hard to reduce height and reduced shoots on every branch.  I am aware bramleys tend to fruit at the tips but, clearly, they also produce on spurs so I expecf a similar result in 2 years.

This is in an orchard I planted....not my own.....and all the trees in it are very productive, relatively small because of pruning and accessible.  

In my own garden I summer prune apples and pears.....cordons and espaliers ....in August.  

I don't think there is too much to fear in pruning.  If you realise growth will be abundant after pruning and you address this by reducing this extra growth the following year I think the results will be good.  Regular pruning is the key I think.

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