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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:28 pm
Location: Felton, CA

pruning apple trees question


...I had pruned several apple trees at late dormant season because they were overgrown with a huge amount of water shoots.
...I knew that pruning at that time would stimulate more growth; but I wanted to stimulate fruit growth.
...so the result is a lot of fruit; and a lot of new water shoots.

javascript:emoticon(':?:')...so, my question is: should I prune much of these shoots now while the fruit is green and growing; or wait til july, when pruning them off will not stimulate new growth.

...I know that it's best for the fruit to have exposure to sunlight; but the way it is now is that the fruit is mostly shaded by the water shoots.
...but my conundrum is also knowing that all the leaves of the shoots are bringing energy to the tree and fruit.
...so I am reluctant to prune away all these energy producing shoots.

...I put pictures up on photobucket so you can get a good visual of what the situation is.

...here's the link:

...thanks in advance for good advice. javascript:emoticon(':wink:')

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Posts: 30488
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

I know every region is slightly different in pruning schedule. In my area, I need to wait until around mid-August to be sure we're out of season for fire blight infection.

Couple of years ago when I was researching pruning, I found a northern Japan (Aomori prefecture) apple orchard website where their main orchard task in July is go around snapping the green water shoots off the apple trees by grasping and giving a sharp pull. For me though, by August, the watershoots are semi-woody and doesn't pull off without injury to the bark.

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