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How to prune apple trees in summer

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

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
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Total time:

Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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.

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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.