Annually pruned apple trees bring a rich harvest. Through maintenance pruning, the tree can renew itself (older branches hardly bear fruit) and the bearing fruit shoots receive enough light to ripen fruit. In addition, you prevent diseases.
Experts argue a bit about when the best time is. Some say in late winter (late January to late February), before new shoots begin. Others think an autumn pruning from the end of October / November is good.
In principle, pruning in the fall is less favorable than in late winter, because the new shoots are stronger, and therefore the formation of water sprouts higher. (The variety of apple trees plays less of a role here. It depends on the grafted rootstock whether a tree is weak or strong growing).
For your old tree, you may want to have a professional come in this year (gardener or nurseryman) to do a thorough thinning and maintenance pruning once. (It is not so easy for a layman to prune a totally overgrown old fruit tree without giving the poor plant a radical pruning that will seriously affect the tree’s appearance). Of course, you can also have an experienced garden owner show you what’s important when pruning a tree.
Our tip: Anything that crosses, grows over each other and faces inward into the tree can go. Likewise, shoots that point steeply upward. Basically, cut back by a third, depending on the space available.
In the summer you can exceptionally prune again (after the harvest) and then, in the next late winter you supply the tree alone without experts.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
Please if you have any questions leave them on the article and i will get back to you personally.