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Apple tree pruning tips

Q. I have several old apple trees in serious need of pruning. When is a good time to do this?

A. Apple trees can be pruned either right after you harvest your fruit crop or in early March before the buds begin to swell. Regular pruning of these trees will result in a better fruit crop with larger, healthier apples. In all cases, be sure to sterilize your pruning tools with rubbing alcohol or a solution of nine parts water to one part bleach. All diseased or dead wood should be removed first. Prune out branches that are rubbing over each other as well as interior branches that are crowding the crown. It is important to have maximum light and air circulating through the entire canopy of the tree.