Planting a dwarf apple tree in your yard this spring will let you pick apples -- just like those grown in orchards -- for many years. To get as many apples as possible, you'll need to have the tree pruned in a particular way. In addition to being a great season for planting, spring is also an excellent time of year to prune trees. Here's how to ask a tree pruning service to shape your dwarf apple tree so it gives you many apples.
A Christmas-Tree Shape Will Increase Production
A well-shaped dwarf apple tree should resemble a Christmas tree. It will have a single central leader, which grows from the middle of the tree and is the tallest branch on the tree. From this main shoot, secondary branches will grow. These branches should be cut back to create a pyramid-like shape, with longer branches on the bottom and shorter ones up top.
This shape maximizes sunlight exposure, while letting the tree continue to grow upwards. The main shoot will reach a height of 6 to 12 feet when mature, so you'll be able to reach even the highest apples with a basic ladder. The pyramid shape of the secondary branches ensures that higher-up branches don't block lower-down one's from receiving sunlight. Just as a Christmas tree's shape provides plenty of room for displaying ornaments, prunning your dwarf apple tree in this way will leave plenty of space for apples to grow in direct sunlight.
Establish a Central Leader When Your Tree is Young
It's not difficult to establish a central leader, but you must begin trimming the tree into the correct shape when it's young. As soon as you plant a whip, have a tree pruning service come to do the following procedures:
- cut away any branches that are within 2 feet of the ground
- trim all branches left back so they're about 2 inches long
- cut off any vertical shoots besides the one singled out to be the main leader
After the first growing season, you should ask your tree trimmer to return in winter and prune the central leader and all healthy branches so that they continue to grow when next spring arrives. Any secondary upward shoots or unhealthy branches should be entirely cut off.
If you're planting a dwarf apple tree this spring, make sure your efforts will be well rewarded with lots of apples. As soon as you have the tree in the ground, contact a tree pruning service like E & R Landscaping & Trees and explain how you'd like the tree trimmed. They'll be able to take care of all of the trimming for you.