How to prune an apple tree in five simple steps

Apple tree
Pruning can be the cause of apple tree problems, but it can also provide the cure - read on for our complete guide on how to prune correctly Credit: Jeff Gilbert

Apple trees are left in a sorry state by heavy-handed pruning and rampant re-growth, but this guide will leave your fruit tree happy and healthy

A lustrous green dome and branches heavy with rosy red fruit — that’s how an apple tree should look in August, but most garden trees fall well short of this orchard ideal. Too often, crops are disappointing, with fungally infected, distorted leaves and an outline as lopsided as one of Lady Gaga’s hats.

Heavy-handed pruning is the usual culprit for this sorry state of affairs, followed by a period of neglect during which the tree fights back with rampant, unbalanced regrowth. This emphasises the importance of buying an apple on the right rootstock in...

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