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in Fruit & veg
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.
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.
Thanks fidget bones
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.