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Bringing to life old apple tree. HELP!

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  • Bringing to life old apple tree. HELP!

    Hi there,
    I moved earlier in the year and have inherited a lovely old apple tree. I had a hack at it in the spring but i need some good pruning advice. There is a lot of old wood with lichen and loads of new growth but this is all vertical whippy shoots. I have included an image if this is any help.
    Any advice gladly received. Many thanks.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Cut off virtually all of the upright shoots all the way back to where they join the main branch.*

    Remove any dead branches.


    *
    Cutting back a branch to leave a portion of it encourages vigorous vertical regrowth from the buds closest to the pruning cut. Cutting out a branch completely does not result in vigorous regrowth.

    Mature trees should not have more than about one-quarter to maybe one-third of their mass removed in a year.
    Also be very careful of pruning mature trees while they have leaves on - this is seriously de-vigorating and if the tree is not vigorous and growing rapidly to start with, it will be killed. If an old tree absolutely must be pruned while it still has leaves (perhaps to control vigour), the pruning MUST be restricted to removing ONLY the new season's strong-growing upright shoots.
    .

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    • #3
      I wouldn't be worried about the lichen.
      That's only a a sign that the air is damp and clean
      "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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      • #4
        Am I the only one thinking that is the worlds largest apple tree? It must be pushing the height of 3 houses ;-)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DuncanM View Post
          Am I the only one thinking that is the worlds largest apple tree? It must be pushing the height of 3 houses ;-)
          That's not a real house in the picture Duncan

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DuncanM View Post
            Am I the only one thinking that is the worlds largest apple tree? It must be pushing the height of 3 houses ;-)
            Duncan, have you considered joining the Nutters Club?
            A Chicken walks with small steps. Be more Chicken
            https://gardenchicken.blogspot.com/
            @realveggiechicken

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DuncanM View Post
              Am I the only one thinking that is the worlds largest apple tree? It must be pushing the height of 3 houses ;-)
              OMG!!!! can you imagine the size of the apples????
              "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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              • #8
                Imagine a Baked apple? or worse, one falling on your head
                A Chicken walks with small steps. Be more Chicken
                https://gardenchicken.blogspot.com/
                @realveggiechicken

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                • #9
                  My only question is "Why did you 'hack at it' in the first place!?" I'm nosey, see.

                  Oh, and welcome to the Madhouse!
                  All the best - Glutton 4 Punishment
                  Freelance shrub butcher and weed removal operative.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Glutton4... View Post
                    My only question is "Why did you 'hack at it' in the first place!?" I'm nosey, see.

                    Oh, and welcome to the Madhouse!
                    well when i say 'hack', i basically chopped out the dead stuff and removed vertical young stuff. I really want to know whether it should be opened up or to keep some young stuff etc.

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                    • #11
                      FB is our fruit expert, and he has given you some good advice above. By the way, welcome to the Vine. Could you add your location (nearest town) to your profile please. Then it will show up on your posts and help with advice given.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by willardx View Post
                        well when i say 'hack', i basically chopped out the dead stuff and removed vertical young stuff. I really want to know whether it should be opened up or to keep some young stuff etc.
                        Is it a Bramley?

                        Bramley is extremely vigorous and won't give up without a long hard fight.

                        If the vigorous upright shoots are a persistent problem, remove those shoots - but ONLY those young upright shoots - in August.

                        Only current season's growth can be safely removed during the summer as it is very de-vigorating and can kill trees; if you cut off most of its leaves it can't take down all the sugars for its winter reserve (which kickstarts growth the next season) and if the leaves are removed those nutrients can't be recycled stored in reserve for the following season (leaves turn yellow-brown because the tree extracts anything useful from them before it drops them; the useful nutrients are then stored in the roots during the winter and reused the next spring).
                        .

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rustylady View Post
                          That's not a real house in the picture Duncan
                          Phew, thanks for clarifying ;-)

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