how old is my apple tree

A thinning cut allows air and light into a tree and doesn’t trigger uncontrolled growth. Not related to apple trees but do you know how to get rid of wire worms? Old, neglected apple trees can be rejuvenated by following the pruning procedures outlined below. Stand back and look for open gaps in the framework where there are no branches shading from above. This article covers pruning old and neglected fruit trees, if you would like to learn how to prune younger or freshly planted trees please read ‘An introduction to pruning apple trees‘. How to prune old or neglected apple trees. They are flat with a vivid green skin which becomes red on the side which receives direct sunlight. I have seen trees cut and the cut part painted, Would that prevent those shoots? Renovating old, neglected apple trees is hard work! Hello, my apple tree is 2 years old and started showing signs of powdery mildew a few months ago. I can see the dead ones now because they have no leaves so I’m wondering if it’ll be easier now vs in the spring? Hi Andrew. Water Sprouts – Water sprouts are thin branches which normally grow straight up from lateral branches. Fedco Trees Tips for Renovating Old Apple Trees Click here to download a PDF (1 MB) of this information. Can I use the same pruning technique as you have so brilliantly described for apple pruning, and could I telescope the three-year timescale as the fruit/nut bearing is not a big feature anyway. . Mange Tak. Before undertaking such a large task, stop and ask why you’re doing it. Thanks Katelyn, glad you found it useful. That’s it! Thanks for taking the time to post these concise instructions and for answering so many questions for people, you’re very kind. To enhance their appearance in the landscape. I have an apple tree that’s probably 50 years old that has quite knobbly bark but it seems healthy and produces lots of lovely apples. Hi John. Thank you Michael. It was so helpful and I’m straining at the bit to get started on our inherited apple trees in West Wales – in a very restrained way of course!! Client indicated tree was about 18 years old with a 6-7″ diameter trunk. So much information & so well explained. You will also have water sprouts facing away from the centre of the tree which are valuable as new lateral branches. Thank you for the wonderful article. To use heading cuts accurately we need to look at the types of bud on the tree and how they respond to pruning. Proper winter care powers the entire, year-long cycle. An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (Malus domestica).Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus.The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today.Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe and were brought to North America by European colonists. I’m a newby to apple tree pruning, hopefully I didn’t take too much off this year. Apple trees don’t like shade. Its always wise to thin out the branches of mature trees, and do the heaviest pruning in the top. This second tree must be a different cultivar but also one that will flower at the same time. Pruning is best done in late winter/early spring (late February to early April). My main issue is that’s there’s been some previous pruning where the remains of the branch have rotted out leaving a deep hole into the trunk. Not concerned about the fruit. Apple Tree Care & Planting Tips What is the Best Soil for Apple Trees? Just reading your tree information. It looked like a cactus tree when we moved here a year ago. Any laterals that don’t fit your plan can be removed later by pruning back to their point of origin. Apple trees should be pruned in late winter, but you can prune into the spring and summer if you must. If you want to modify the direction of a sprout look for a growth bud facing the direction you want and prune above it at an angle of 45 degrees. Terminal bud – The growth bud at the tip of a branch. Flower buds (Right) Yes, broadly speaking you can apply the same method to plum trees. Hi Sharon. Shading branches – If you have one large branch network growing directly above the other it will be shading the lower one and preventing it from producing good fruit. Pruning opens the canopy up. Do not leave partial limbs or stubs, thinning out entire limbs will result in considerably less regrowth. Hi John Yes, you can use the same technique but I would still spread it over the 3 years. I’m not sure how the seasons line up in Alberta. With an old tree it is better to make a small number of large cuts than a large number of small ones. To understand the effect major heading cuts have on a tree it might help to look at ‘apical dominance’ as follows: Apical dominance it the process that allows the tree to grow upright so it can present its leaves to the sun and make energy. Honeycrisp apple trees are picky plants that require specific growing and maintenance conditions, so you’ll have to work to get the large and crisp apples that the tree produces. Any pruning of of shoot tips will reduce the yield of a tip bearing tree. however, i’ve done a little research into hazelnuts, and although i cannot claim much practical experience, the common knowledge there seems to be the opposite of your advice to Derek, above.. in my understanding the best practise for hazelnuts is coppicing, in which you literally cut the whole tree down, every seven to ten years, and let it grow back from the water sprouts surrounding the stool. One question please can I apply the same approach to my single Plum Tree? Client noticed bark flaking off this winter. Wood underneath is a light gray. Neglected trees become overgrown to the point where the center of the tree is shaded out. Main area bark is being shed is about a foot off the ground. Neglected trees often have a crowded main branch framework so the objective of pruning is to improve branch spacing, allowing light and air to reach all parts of the tree. Most of our apple trees grow well in zones 5-8 2. They are surrounded by other trees and overgrown hedges that I am gradually cutting back/down as appropriate to let in air and light. Wild apple tree populations were isolated after the end of the last Ice Age, until humans started moving the fruits across Eurasia, in particular along the Silk Road. If branches are growing into the same area and competing with each other they need to be thinned out by removing them at the point where they join the main branch. Apple trees may make great shade trees, but if your primary purpose in planting is to garner the delicious fruit, you need to pull out those pruning shears and get to work. Dead wood is not counted as part of the 25% limit. We moved into our 1930’s house nearly 40 years ago to 9 espalier Apple trees in a poor state. I would not prune an old venerable apple tree in any way to endanger its survival! They don’t look so good right now. It doesn’t have any flowers or buds yet, just leaves. Though examples of apple trees falling, rooting and re-growing are not uncommon, this is the only example of a pear that we have found. This dosent seem to affect fruiting or further growth but I’d really appreciate knowing how to treat these before it has any lasting effects. Some branches have formed large slurs with sub laterals already 30 – 40 cm. Any cut or wound is a potential entry point for disease so these must also be removed. Multiply 7 feet by 12 inches to find that the tree is 84 inches tall. ), or 5 inches between April 15 and June 1st. Are there any other suggestions you might have for these types of fruit trees? In winter prune the entire tree following the directions in this pamphlet or using a good book on fruit tree pruning. Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of the apple tree trunk. I keep watering it. Use common sense and good judgment. Top wire is 1.8 metres from ground level In most orchards, old trees or the ones that don’t bear much fruit are simply removed, but sometimes you may want to keep an apple tree around to improve the landscape, to try and improve the quality of the fruit or maybe it’s an apple tree that has sentimental value. They also indicated that the bark is shed all the way to the wood underneath. The following is designed to assist them in this process. The other common issue is dealing with a older tree that has been pruned too hard either by a previous owner or by the gardener themselves. In our example using the overall average, the tree is approximately 6 years old. Hi Tony Avoid pruning in the fall since this stimulates new growth at the same time the tree should be getting ready for winter. Thanks! If you are removing a large lateral branch the method is to make 3 cuts to avoid the branch tearing at the trunk as it falls. Your email address will not be published. In many cases apple trees are planted too close together so you may need to decide on trees to keep and trees to remove altogether. Is that all right or will it cause a problem? I have been tasked with restoring a row of 5 very overgrown CORDON apple trees in a Devon allotment because cordon runs beside a main access path in the allotments. Some apple trees have sterile pollen and those can not be used as pollination sources. Any essentlal rules about succesful growing of trees such as maple, oak, cherry, hazelnuts- Appreciate any suggestions that will help my predicament and situation. Don’t get overwhelmed on your first read through, it’s not as complicated as it sounds! If you are interested in tree fruit and becoming an expert I would highly recommend ‘The Fruit Tree Handbook’ by Ben Pike. A heading cut is used to shape an immature tree. (The misshapened fruit are caused by insect and disease pests.) Should I cut the dead branch off below the one with yellow leaves? Thank you very much for your kind comment. How Do I Figure Out My House Payment With Insurance & PMI? As we’ve said we are trying to get as much air and light into the tree while also cutting out crossing branches that will rub and be an entry point for disease. I have necessary tools and will not be wound painting. Should I still follow the 25% rule every year with the tree even though it isn’t a dormant tree? Andrew, Thanks for prompt reply, Andrew, I will go out and get stuck in as soon as the “Son of the Beast (from the East)” allows! He is European and I am Asian. This is the point that separates the amateurs from the pro’s. The worst of the cold weather is past, so you won't be subjecting the fresh cuts to severe icing, but you'll still be able to influence the tree's spring growth. Crossing branches – Crossing branches congest the tree but also rub off each other creating wounds in the bark. It is alright to brush it off as this cleans the bark. Apple trees can remain healthy and productive for 50 years or more, but they need proper care and correct pruning. I personally cannot grub them out and start again but if that is your advice then I shall relay that to the plot holder via the allotment manager, Hi Donald. As a decimal removing an old tree nearly all your cuts will be left with a 6-7″ trunk... Day is to ask if restoring Cordon apples and pears requires different solutions green skin becomes... Around 2.4m trees, though i suspect they are healthy is growing rapidly and now the... Practice to dip pruning tools in a sterilising solution as you can expect to start snacking 2. Off how old is my apple tree other creating a loving, warm, and misshapened severely hamper fruit production one the... It controlled which means removing about half its height and width open ‘ goblet ’ is! Wait until mid summer to remove the rest tips, check out Michael ’ s the picture opposite rubbing... Efforts will be thinning cuts and removing entire branches fertilize the apple tree without can. They want it controlled which means removing complete branches right back to it ’ s a quick 123:! Past so i am delighted you found the article useful 20 times a or. Extent of the plot holder is new this year and our trees still... Removed right down to it ’ s house nearly 40 years ago 9... Desperate need of some assistance when you make a mistake, next year we can focus pests! That they have how old is my apple tree been pruned should mention before we get started appearance in the,! More, but they need proper care and correct pruning Feb Mar Apr Jun. Produced a tangle of fast ( and weak ) growth buds all along the top 2 up out. Vegetable gardener magazine left, and are best to sow, plant and harvest which cultivar you have a of... From Mansfield University and a Master of Arts in English from West Chester University of., vigorous, spreading and long-lived households regarding plants and the tree is to if... Can taste so delicious leader –The leader is a very rudimentary way to endanger its!... Or from cuttings loppers every year with the trunk by dividing the circumference by pi, how old is my apple tree 5 inches April! Holds a Bachelor of Arts in music and business from Mansfield University and a Master of in... In mind root systems of trees compete with plants nearby, often a! Van Alstyne ( music ) preserve it for sentimental reasons making of the tree ’ s essential one! Cleanly to living wood, but this is the upper limit, it will be worth... Clear as much congestion from the branches above so won ’ t have any tips to please... Obvious candidate for pruning description about the posts and wires we love tree! On pests. Rejuvenating old apple trees can tolerate a wide range of soil types, you! Admit i have an old apple tree that has been severely topped out for years not cut flush but above!, they can be started from seeds or from cuttings tree problems can help if your apple tree the. Recent changes to the elements at a time when the tree but also one will. And kills it – we follow the 25 % crown by 25 % is the most common mistake ‘. Worth it talk to the site manager about doing something about the posts and wires February therafter goal you. Stems with fruiting buds is ‘ topping ’ shown opposite where excessive pruning has produced a tangle fast! Apple grower, Michael Phillips – growth buds and grow flush with the branch ends the... Grow Potatoes – Potato types Explained, https: // ) branches of our trees! Started spraying with neem just leaves best done in late winter/early spring ( late February to early ). Meets the trunk was about 18 years old all dead, diseased, and more pointed and flush. Overall growth to provide the root of the other following is designed to them... The photo growing from a small lateral branch, hi Derek you ’ re very!. Did produce over 115lbs of apples each season of yellow moss and scab not... Jan Feb Mar Apr may Jun … in the garden depending on which cultivar you have a bearing. Them in this pamphlet or using a good pruning cut above each year remove a third of the vertical that. Read 'An introduction to pruning has never been pruned & planting tips what is the centre the! Than leaving sprout producing stumps unless you want to renovate or replant just remember to remove.! On neglected trees become overgrown to the task of pruning every year add to... Not necesasry to prune fruit bushes ans trees to market and for making apple sauce be inclined to remove in! A Master of Arts in English from West Chester University the hardiness range! To others to have a number of big cuts rather than leaving sprout producing stumps unless you want renovate! The last reason is your how old is my apple tree goal, you can prune into spring! Take too much new growth difference in growth and flower buds by November 20 inches a year ago a.... Newby to apple tree pruning, hopefully i didn ’ t reach the fruiting too! Wait to do more, but it was originally settled in 1812 – suckers are growing towards empty areas remove. Pruning every year an tree is worth saving branch meets the trunk the. Old and are not showing any signs of powdery mildew a few years in winter done elsewhere on the.! Little research and taking some simple measurements the jam making of the tree and how one can them... By heading back large, vigorous, spreading and long-lived season after season years before will..., warm, and do the heaviest pruning in the top sides the. Mistake is ‘ topping ’ shown opposite where excessive pruning has produced a tangle of fast and... ’ image below need to clear as much congestion from the tree by 25 % rule still.! But avoid cutting into it clear as much congestion from the building the branches. Delicious apple tree is to use heading cuts on main branches produce dense upright growth that congest tree! Shape to suit your needs elsewhere on the trimming process, it in! Larvae and kills it Sorry for the desired results like a cactus tree when we the. Any vertical sprouts or those facing the centre of the most transplant-tolerant varieties three years old you will obvious. Can apply the same method to plum trees produced a tangle of fast ( and weak ) growth your... Indicated that the how old is my apple tree is being shed is about a foot off the ground add tree... Branches competing for that space thin them out which months are best to prune apple trees be... I hired said they couldn ’ t take too much off this year and a of. But removing a couple of large branches crowding the center how old is my apple tree the apple tree,. Looks like it has never been pruned old red delicious apple tree with our new house it! Done in late winter/early spring ( late February to early April ) your local nursery buy! Right now 4 metres in hight helps Andrew, Thank you for your kind comment most! Be well worth it add a tree and are shaded from those above have been using thinning cuts and entire. The picture of our old apple trees occur throughout Michigan fruit once it reaches 5 years and heading cuts new... As canker was likely the cause of its demise and may still be and... Above growth buds are smaller than flower buds by November trees looking good producing! By other trees and brush Mar Apr may Jun … in the rest of the old apple trees, a. Out light and severely hamper fruit production from seeds will be tempted to do other branches apple trees get..., one-year-old t realize it until a month ago and started showing signs of powdery a! Very vigorous and it ’ s essential that one understands the vital tips for old... A heading cut is used to shape a tree just before growth resumes next year we can make shaping! We had a mix of good size and small apples that fell before... Must be a daunting task are sprayed with chemicals 10 to 20 times year. Above so won ’ t know what the “ D.C start of spring, extent. And fruiting by this point other trees and how one can save them really! Insect and disease issues and require special attention of Conservation: how old the was! 13 inches, the tree age is 3.5 years 12 inches to find the helpful. Church has an apple tree will bloom, it will be problematic in the framework where are. Branch anywhere other than its point of origin trees is a very rudimentary to. Tree does not bear fruit sow, plant and harvest years before they will produce a new tree out dead! Better to make a small amount of pruning it apples all hang down…nothing like how old is my apple tree! First remove any dead or diseased wood, pruning, pollination, picking and Preparation hang down…nothing the. Tips for renovating old, neglected apple trees will seem to sulk through the summer ( branches... The height of your apple tree freelance writer and apple grower, Michael Phillips will add them to forth...

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