The summer pruning of apple trees

Posted on: 3rd August, 2017

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: West Cork People

Paul Lynch is a permaculture designer and orchardist based in West Cork.

Apple tree pruning is considered by many to be a complicated job – which it can be – but there are some key concepts that, when properly understood, will direct what action should be taken (if any) and at what time of year. One of these concepts is the difference between summer and winter pruning.

In the winter the sap will have fallen and the tree stores its sugars in the roots. Pruning done then will not really rob the tree of its energy, and so increased vegetative or leafy growth can be expected during spring and summer after winter pruning, as a full tree’s worth of energy tries to express itself in the reduced tree size. Therefore winter pruning is more used to give structure and direction to younger growing trees and increase leafy growth in trees that are lacking vigour.

In the summer the sap is up in the branches and leaves, so pruning done now will rob the tree of some of its energy. This is very useful if the tree has too much leafy growth and too little fruiting wood, if a tree has outgrown its allocated area, or if it is desirable to limit its size or change its shape for any reason. It is an especially good time to remove the vertical leafy water shoots that can shade ripening fruit. Summer pruning is generally more important for mature trees.

Dead and diseased wood can be a little more obvious in the summer due to an absence of leaves, but removing this can be done in the winter also. The overall structure of a tree is easier to assess in the winter for the same reason.

Some general precautions to take are to use sharp tools and to disinfect them between trees and even between cuts on the same tree if there is any suspicion that you may have cut into diseased wood. As a rule only up to one third of the mass of a tree should be removed in any year, and only up to one sixth when summer pruning. Exceeding these limits can overly stress the tree and it may not survive the following growing season.

Knowledge of summer and winter pruning, when taken together with other concepts and factors that direct pruning such as available light, ventilation and the difference between drive and stop cuts, gives the orchardist the confidence and framework to tackle any pruning job.

For professional permaculture design and orchard care please contact Paul Lynch on 089 2553096 or email paullynchdesign@gmail.com.

Latest News Articles:

Issue of childcare a major concern for 72 per cent of female entrepreneurs
Rain, slurry deadlines and housing
Celtic Ross Hotel awarded AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence
St. Joseph’s in Clonakilty looks back on 50 years of educating young girls
‘Operation Transformation’ for Young Beef Farmers
Macra President welcomes publication of EU Young Farmer Survey
Vital role of Focus in the West Cork community highlighted at Open Morning
Clonakilty Food Company opens new production facility in Clonakilty
Beara student one of three Cork students awarded €20,000 scholarship by Naughton Foundation
International success for Skibb rowers

Join us on Facebook

Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
Would you like to get involved in the 2018 Festival?If you yourself would like to be involved in big or small way
email bandonwalledtown@gmail.com
... See MoreSee Less

11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
... See MoreSee Less

11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
... See MoreSee Less

26th September, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top