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pruning a tip bearing apple tree? how to?
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Dan or
Umatilla oregon
5 Posts
(Offline)
1
June 2, 2019 - 12:31 pm

Hi there!  I have a golden russet that is a tip bearing tree.   I did not prune it this year at all and oh my is the apples on the tips.    I have thinned the apples and I am looking forward to a good crop for the first time.   I have pruned it like a non tip bearing tree in the past and always wondered why I got so few apples... imagine that!

 

My question is how do you prune a tip bearing apple tree?   The tree is about 10 years old.

 

Thanks in advance for your advice/recommendations.

 

Dan OR

 

Umatilla OR

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Viron
1400 Posts
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2
June 2, 2019 - 5:39 pm

I’d say you shorten, rather than remove stems to their base limb.  I’d had more tip-bearers than I could keep track of, pruned every year, and never noticed any significant difference between them and their ‘ordinary’ neighbors.   

Oriental plums could be considered ‘tip bearers,’ in that they only bear on ‘last years wood.’  Though far more prolific than an apple tree, I’d keep in mind - if I want fruit, ‘shorten instead of remove the new growth.’   

Pruning is an art ..and likely a science.  After decades of caring for a home orchard, my goal was/ is to do more Summer Pruning.  A way of tweaking the framework and messing with the hormones that, with familiarity, allows for a more precise manipulation Wink

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Dan or
Umatilla oregon
5 Posts
(Offline)
3
June 7, 2019 - 4:20 pm

Thanks!

 

Dan

 

Umatilla Or

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
(Offline)
4
June 11, 2019 - 6:10 pm

Another solution is rotation of pruning, so new wood is on different parts of the tree each year.

The strategy that I use on tip bearers is to mostly graft a branch of that onto a tree. Then it's almost all on the "outside".  Also, if the apples aren't too big, grow it on a smaller rootstock, so it doesn't need to be pruned. If the apples are big, you could graft an interstem.   I checked that with the late Jerry Shroyer, one of my mentors,  and he thought that was a good idea.

John S
PDX OR

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