New shape for an apple tree


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Hi,

I would like to ask your opinion on the pruning of an apple tree as I am new to this.

I have this tree in our new garden. I don't know the variety of this apple tree. It is probably 15 years old. The previous owners trained it with many branches starting from a low level. I really don't like this shape. I would like to see more of its trunk. So I was thinking of cutting, now in January, the first branches close to the ground. Maybe the tree needs some other branches cut in the canopy but I would probably do this in another winter.

Would it be safe for the tree to cut so many branches at once? As you can see on the photo, the first branches I would like to cut start at about 20-30cm from the ground. There are 3 branches coming from one spot and a 4th one from the opposite side. So many branches in one spot also made the trunk thicker in this area. The bark is also a bit damaged from a product they used to stop ants going up.

If I do this, should I also continue with pruning some of the thin branches or is it too much?

Marius
 

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So rather than go at the main trunk meristem or bark it is safer to cut out on the branch a ways at least 6 inches. There are a variety of wound sealants but just trimming out and in a plane that sheds water rather than collects it should be sufficient. This allow the tree to deal with the dead limb in it own way at the base of the branch. It will close off the vascular system and reintegrate the pathways buck up the trunk over the next few years.
 
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So rather than go at the main trunk meristem or bark it is safer to cut out on the branch a ways at least 6 inches. There are a variety of wound sealants but just trimming out and in a plane that sheds water rather than collects it should be sufficient. This allow the tree to deal with the dead limb in it own way at the base of the branch. It will close off the vascular system and reintegrate the pathways buck up the trunk over the next few years.
Thank you for the suggestion. I will try this. I guess the branch rests will slowly die in a few years and they can be cut off at some point.
 
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The part of a tree limb that should remain is called the collar. It does not extend very far up the limb.
An illustration will save many words here.
pruning-trees-07-correct-technique.jpg
 
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The top does look crowded, I was given as standard advice "A pigeon should be able to fy through it easily"
 
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The top does look crowded, I was given as standard advice "A pigeon should be able to fy through it easily"
I'll focus this year on removing the lower branches. Next year I'll open the top more. People working on bonsais also say this. Birds should be able to fly between branches with ease.
 

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