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Pruning Apple Trees

Matt Selmi pruning apple trees during the month of February

We’re going to be a bit bold here and make a statement. We don’t think anyone’s more excited for spring than us! As the frosty grips of winter begin to loosen its hold, we are only getting more and more excited. When was the last time we had a 60 degree day in February?! That was almost a bit cruel to give us a taste of spring! 

Regardless, we’ve begun preparing our grounds for the change of season. One of the first essential tasks on the to-do list? Pruning our apple trees! It might not sound glamorous, but trust us, it’s crucial. 

Picture this: you’re strolling through an apple orchard, and instead of neat rows of trees, you’re met with a tangled mess of branches. Yikes. Without proper pruning, trees become overcrowded leading to poor air circulation and increased risk of disease. Plus, those dead branches? They’re just dead weight, sapping the tree’s energy and reducing overall produce! We don’t want that.

Before photo showing overcrowded branches and after photo of a pruned apple tree.

So, why prune? It’s simple. Pruning cuts out the clutter and allows for better light penetration and airflow throughout the tree. This, in turn, promotes healthy growth and higher yields come harvest time. Plus, by removing dead or diseased wood, we’re preventing the spread of pests and allows for the tree to grow enough fruit to withstand the weight as roughly each bud produces around 5 apples!

P.S. did you know that when your apple tree starts to show silver tips that means fruit buds are coming in? All things to look out for when pruning.

But here’s the thing - pruning isn’t just a one-and-done deal. It’s an ongoing process. A bit like grooming bonsai trees. We’ve got to stay on top of it, shaping and thinning the trees to keep them happy and productive. But come springtime, these trees will reward us with a bounty of blossoms, signaling the start of another fruitful season.

So, if you’re gearing up for spring time, don’t forget about your apple trees if you have ‘em. Give them the TCL they deserve, and they’ll return the favor in spades.


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