Pruning the young apple tree

learn to prune apple and pear trees
Young apple and pear trees they need a good pruning in its first years of life, something that is not difficult at all, so we must take the time necessary to do it well, since if in the first years we do a good pruning, this would make the following years we find ourselves without any problems in these types of trees.

This pruning method is suitable for one and two year old apple and pear trees old, which will be planted in a traditional way. A correct pruning of the young trees creates in the following years a very attractive specimen, with large and strong branches full of fruit and with trees that will have a long and productive life.

Buying apple and pear trees

When you buy a new apple or pear tree trees with a good root and stem system should always be selected or buy these types of trees in a nursery of trust, where they can answer our questions.

One-year-old trees are called 'maidens'and they are sold with branches and buds and without them.

"Maidens with sprouts"

They are the trees that developed lateral shoots from main stem, so do not forget to buy one of these trees with a large number of branches and that are in the shape of a cup.

These trees can be more expensive than the "maidens without sprouts."

"Maidens without sprouts"

Conclusion trees without side branches and that form a single stem. They are often cheaper than the "maidens with sprouts" and are almost as productive.

When to prune apple and pear trees?

Pruning must be carried out when the tree is in vegetative rest, between the fall of leaves and the opening of the buds (normally between November and the beginning of March).

how and when pruning is done

How to prune new apple and pear trees?

When pruning, always use sharp scissors to make cuts and perform these cuts just above the bud and sloping.

First year

Trim the central stem just above and makes a cut of approximately 75 cm from the ground, ensuring that three or four evenly spaced shoots remain. Cut these branches in half, cutting just above an outward-facing bud.

Remove the remaining lower branches.

Prune a shoot 75 cm above the ground, leaving three or four healthy shoots, since when performing this type of pruning, production will be stimulated of strong vigorous shoots.

Second year

Choose the best three or five sprouts to form the main frame of the branches and remove all the others. Cut selected sprouts in half, cutting just above the bud that must face outwards to encourage the formation of a cup-shaped branch structure.

Remove the remaining lower branches.

Subsequent years

Reduces the growth of the previous year on the main stems or primary branches by one third, cutting just above a healthy bud oriented outwards, leaving eight to ten branches.

Leave the side branches that emerge from the main stems unpruned.

Discard any firmly upright shoots that develop at the top of the tree.


Do not leave the fruit of the young tree for the first year. Eliminate any fruit as soon as you see it.

In the second year, if the tree has taken good hold and is growing well, you can let one or two fruits develop, as this can be useful to see if you have to wait another year for these trees to bear good fruit.

Apple and pear tree problems

There is some problems associated with pruning and with these types of trees, however, problems that can arise include enfermedades such as apple canker, monilia, brown rot, and frost damage.

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  1.   Jorge Luis Bocanegra Varela said

    I have 2 trees
    + a manazno is three years old, the fruits that I have harvested are very small, and a bit tasteless, which he recommends to me to improve the fruit. The average temperature where I live is usually 35 to 42 degrees Celsius in summer .

    + A pear tree is three years old, it has never produced fruit too, which he recommends me to make and in the same way the average temperature ranges between 35 to 42 degrees Celsius in summer.

    I thank you in advance for sending me a recommendation to improve the trees.

    Jorge Luis Bocanegra Varela

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Jorge Luis.
      I recommend you pay them with Organic fertilizers from spring to fall.
      Thus, they will surely bear better fruits 🙂
      A greeting.

  2.   Berta said

    I have an apple tree in pots and it is only one year old and it has not given me the fruits when I can prune it in what month, thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Berta.
      It may be that he is still very young. Apple trees usually begin to bear fruit from the fourth to fifth year of cultivation, and as long as they are at least 1 meter high at the time of purchase.

      With regard to pruning, it is done at the end of winter, but only if necessary; that is, if you have a branch that is growing too large, and / or shoots that come out of the base of the trunk, then yes.

      If you have questions, contact us.


  3.   June said

    Hello, I have a one and a half year apple tree, it measures 1,20, in a 40 x 35 pot, it is straight without branches, I have never pruned it, I don't know how to prune it, do I remove the bud? Before the full moon? I live in Colombia in a cold zone. I appreciate your response, greetings

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Giu.

      At the end of winter you can trim the trunk a little, but only a little, no more than five centimeters since it is still very young. With this you will get it to take branches lower.