How to prune apple trees in summer

Do it:

Jun, Jul, Aug

Takes just:

45 minutes

Once apple trees are established it's best to summer prune the spur-fruiting varieties. This will encourage the development of short flowering shoots or 'spurs' that go on to bear clusters of fruit. Summer pruning is ideal for keeping trees in shape and involves pruning the soft, current season's growth before it has a chance to become woody.

You will need

  • Secateurs


Cut back the leading shoots of each branch by half their length to encourage the production of side shoots. Only prune the current season's growth in this way, cutting to just above a leaf.

Cut back all remaining side shoots to two or three leaves from the base of the current season's leafy growth, cutting just above the bud.


Always prune to an outward-facing bud so that the centre of the bush or tree is kept open. This helps reduce problems with pests and diseases.

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