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Out of Control Apple Trees


 
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Maeve Drogheda
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree


Joined: 08 Feb 2011
Posts: 287
Location: Drogheda Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:26 pm    Post subject: Out of Control Apple Trees Reply with quote

I have two apple trees in my small garden that are out of control, didn't prune them properly in the past few years due to ill health.

They are 12 - 14 foot tall and now the branches are over the boundry wall with my neighbour. Some branches were so high that we could not harvest the fruit last year. All the books say to cut them back this time of year. Can any of you help?

1. How much will I cut off, the main trunk of tree before branches is 8 foot, so do I cut back to the lowest branch?

2. Is this the right time to cut the trees back.

3. If I cut them back to the main trunk will they grow again.

Both trees are 13 years old, one is a russet, and the other james grieve, really lovely eating apples, I would hate to ruin the trees.
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vincentdunne
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 52
Location: Navan, Co. Meath

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very tricky to give advice on this in a short space like this and without seeing the trees in question. Do not cut back to the lowest branches, this will ruin the tree. Go to your local library. Take out a book on fruit pruning and follow it for apples.
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polly
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 09 Aug 2009
Posts: 34
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Maeve, if you go to You Tube
you will get a quick demonstration!
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michael brenock
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 12 Aug 2008
Posts: 1275
Location: cork

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cut back now to about half the height at this time of year, Use a saw but make clean cuts. Allow shoots of half inch to two inches in diameter to remain. This severe cutting back will upset the cropping pattern for a few years. The heavy pruning back should be followed by a number of years of very light pruning, just remover 2-3 inches.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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Maeve Drogheda
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree


Joined: 08 Feb 2011
Posts: 287
Location: Drogheda Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your advice, I have already pruned the trees. And Michael I did use a saw and the cuts were very clean. I am not too bothered about a poor crop for a couple of years so long as I can keep them to a manageable level.
.
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