Asked on Oct 6, 2017

When do you prune apple trees?

FlipturnPJ WiseJanet Pizaro


We planted a couple of little apple trees in the early spring. They are doing well, but both of them have little branches growing out of their trunks at ground level. When is the best time to cut them off ?

6 answers
  • Jay Paden
    on Oct 6, 2017

    You prune all trees during the winter while the sap is down
  • DesertRose
    on Oct 6, 2017

    Wait until late winter or very early in spring before they come alive with leaves/blossoms. We have suckers on our new little trees every yr and prune them too. Ours are doing well and one even had blooms on it the 2nd yr! They started out as 18 inch twigs!! We hope to maybe get a few apples. You are right , the suckers need to come off, when the tree is still "asleep"
  • Flipturn
    on Oct 7, 2017

    You can cut the little bits growing at ground level out of the trunks at any time. You do not want them to grow into bigger branches, not at this low a level, so don't encourage them to keep growing.

    Cutting these off is not pruning. Pruning refers to clipping any where near the new growth that has generated fruit, or will generate fruit next season, and to general shaping of the height and width of the tree, not the trunk.
  • PJ Wise
    on Oct 8, 2017

    Cut whenever you see these growths near the base of the trunk; we call these "suckers" in that they take nutrition/energy from your established tree...they aren't necessary. Cut them sharply away from the trunk taking care not to damage the bark.
  • Flipturn
    on Oct 9, 2017

    You're welcome. Apples baking in the oven is such a nice homey fall time smell! Good luck with the trees.
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