n00b Pruning Feedback?

  • January 22, 2024 at 5:33 pm #1745
    John Holler

    Hi, n00b here. I’m pruning for the first time and I’m worried I’m screwing it up. These are Red Delicious (the Nickelback of apples, I know) which have a ton of long verticals off the crown, and they haven’t been pruned in 3 years. I want to take all the verticals off, but on the other hand I hear it’s a bad idea to prune too much on an old tree in one season – for example, Michael said never remove more than 1/3 of a tree’s canopy. Can I get a non-n00b opinion here?

    Here are pictures of 2 trees I pruned:

    Pic 1

    Pic 2

    [links added by Gregg]

    February 16, 2024 at 4:43 pm #1857
    Josh Klatt

    Hey John — I can’t see the pictures here on this post…. is it me ?

    February 17, 2024 at 2:24 pm #1862

    Links to images added. Please try again.

    February 18, 2024 at 6:55 pm #1863
    Josh Klatt

    It’s hard to see 3 dimensional tree architecture from a 2d picture, but it looks like you’re off to a good conservative start. Looks like you’ve got some good lateral structure established to work off of. I would probably remove at least half of the remaining smaller stuff still poking out on the ends of those established laterals. Try to favor stuff that’s more horizontal than not (more likely to bear fruit on those) and remove anything that crosses or rubs other branches. I think you could go for all pruning cuts on these trees, that is removing whole branches rather than cutting them back partway. Not sure if I’m judging the size right, but maybe the lowest branches could go also ? Anything below 3′ or so would be something I’d remove. Keep up the good work and dont’ be afraid to make mistakes !

    February 23, 2024 at 3:54 pm #1868
    John Holler

    Thanks for the advice and encouragement, Josh. Just finished pruning for the season, probably too conservative as you suggest, but I am glad to have finished it nonetheless. Look forward to seeing how everything goes in the coming year. What an adventure!

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Topic Tags