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Winter pruning 65 year old apples trees

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  • Winter pruning 65 year old apples trees

    As most of the leaves have gone from my apple trees can I start winter pruing now.

    I normally get all my pruning finished before christmas but given health problems it will take me a lot longer to do the work on 4 trees, three of which are 20 foot high with 25 foot diameter spread so I want to make an early start if possible.

    In case it makes any different the varieties are 2 Monarch, one Laxton and one slightly smaller Conference pear.

  • #2
    I would have thought it still a little early myself, especially as it's been a mild autumn so far. Depends what you're doing really, a little tickle here and there never really hurt anyone Cutting half the tree out might be best left until it's fully dormant.

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    • #3
      Should be no need to do any major pruning on big trees unless they are in a state for some reason. Usually less is better than more with pruning older trees - anyway start with a bow saw and have a look if there is any large branches you don't want, say near the centre and cut them right out being careful to trim round the edge of the cut bark with a sharp knife once the branch is down. In an ideal world this work would be done in March.

      I would not advise any work with secateurs, unless there is dead growth which needs tidying.

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      • #4
        Personally I would leave alone untill fully dormant and carry on through the better days of Winter if at all possible.
        Last edited by fishpond; 30-10-2017, 05:04 PM.
        Feed the soil, not the plants.
        (helps if you have cluckies)

        Man v Squirrels, pigeons & Ants
        Bob

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        • #5
          I've got an old apple (ashmead's kernel maybe) that was in need of renovation pruning when we bought the house. I removed about a third of what was needed over winter last year and plan on doing next third this winter to try and reduce shock on the tree.
          I'd personally leave until fully dormant in mid winter before starting but if you need to do it and the only time available is before mid winter then I'd probably risk it.

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