When to Prune Apple Trees? Expert Apple Tree Pruning Tips and Guides

Apple trees are popular in the UK because the climate is perfect for them, we receive enough rain and sun to grow ample amounts of apples.

Advice When Pruning Apple Trees!
Advice When Pruning Apple Trees!

Pruning your apple tree once a year is key for bigger crops and healthier apples.

The best time to prune your apples is when the sap has gone back in the truck which is after autumn and before spring starts.

Best Time To Prune Apple Trees?

November, December or January are the best months to trim and prune your apple trees.

Pruning after these months might stunt the growth and reduce your overall crop in September and October.

Pruning is key because it removes dead branches while reducing disease which can kill an apple tree within a year.

  1. Prune your apple tree in November, December or January
  2. Remove any dead branches because they cause less foliage
  3. Pruning dead branches will reduce/remove disease
  4. Never prune in the spring months because it will drastically reduce crops

Why Prune Apple Trees?

Pruning your apple trees stimulates growth and causes your apple tree to produce more branches which in turn produces more apples.

Another reason to prune is to remove dead branches that will stunt the growth of the tree and can cause disease.

Diseases start in deadwood and will spread through the apple tree and cause your crop to fail.

  • Better yields of apples
  • The quality of apples will improve
  • Reduces the chances of disease
  • Stimulates overall growth
  • Helps light reach the centre of your tree

How To Prune Apple Trees?

Pruning your apple tree is very simple when you know what you’re looking for! In this section, we will help you understand what to look out for when pruning.

So, grab your pruning shears or a small handheld saw and get to work pruning:

1) Remove diseased branches

These branches will be darker in colour and might have some signs of splits or white mould.

A common disease among fruit trees is called apple canker which will kill the tree and crop if not thoroughly removed after summer!

2) Crossing branches

After the summer growth, you might find you have twisted or crossed branches. This will reduce cop volume and the smaller branch should be removed.

3) Deadwood

Removing dead branches is a must because this is where the disease will start.

To determine if a branch is dead simple bend it slightly and it will snap if bad a good branch will bend without snapping.

4) Downward Growing

If a branch is growing toward the floor or horizon then you should remove it back to the trunk leaving about 2 inches of growth.

This stump will produce more upward growing branches when it starts to bud again in early spring.

5) Lose the suckers

When an apple tree starts to grow again in early spring the rising sap will produce suckers at ground level, you must remove these as they grow.

Do not wait until winter to remove these because suckers use the plant’s sap to grow.

“You could break the apple suckers off and use a hormone agent and plant them in pots! If they take you will have a young apple sapling ready for the new year.”

The Wezaggle Team!


Apple trees can produce pounds and pounds of apples if looked after correctly, by following these simple tips to pruning your apple tree will promote growth, health and the overall taste of your apples.

If you have any more questions regarding fruit trees then we are always happy to answer any questions you might have

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