How best to prune Cox's Orange Pippin apple tree

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Dan1980, Dec 19, 2021.

  1. Dan1980

    Dan1980 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Comox, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
    Hi there,

    Complete fruit tree novice here.. I'm looking for some advice on how to prune my Cox's Orange Pippin apple tree. It has been in the ground for about 2.5 years now, and this past season it grew around 60 healthy, large, delicious apples! I highly recommend these apples, best apple I have ever tasted.

    I have never pruned the tree, and I would like it to grow as large and tall as possible, in order to provide us with some privacy (we live on a main road), as well as grow as much fruit as possible. It gets lots of sun. Any advice on how to prune this tree (see pictures below), i.e. which branches to prune, and how much of the branch to prune, etc, and what the best time of year to do it, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks very much,
    Daniel

    upload_2021-12-19_16-22-14.jpeg

    upload_2021-12-19_16-22-30.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2021
  2. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,636
    Likes Received:
    207
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    If you want a tall tree, you will have to prune off all of the lower branches and encourage the central leader to dominate. If you want to keep getting fruit, those lower branches can be pruned back by at least a third this year and more in the following years. I would also straighten out the central leader, which is growing crooked. Severely crooked branches and ones growing back toward the centre should be removed. Some branches as high as the fence or higher should be permanently retained - spaced evenly around the central leader.
     
  3. Dan1980

    Dan1980 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Comox, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
    Thank you very much! That all makes sense and I will follow your advice. As you say, there are quite an few crooked branches and ones routing back towards the center, so I'll take those out and use a stake to hold up the central leader to try and get it to straighten out.

    Thanks again so much for your advice and taking the time,
    Daniel
     
  4. Dan1980

    Dan1980 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Comox, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
    Hi again,

    I'm looking to do this pruning work soon before spring , and just had a question in connection with what you advised previously. You mention that I should straighten out the central leader, and I'm just wondering what the best way to go about this would be? Do you think that it is possible to get it straight? It is very bent as you can see in the pictures.

    Thank you,
    Dan
     
  5. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,636
    Likes Received:
    207
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    I would use a strong pole or pipe placed adjacent to the main trunk on the side opposite to its direction of leaning. Since you probably can't pound it into the ground without damaging roots, the pole should be kept vertical with at least 3 guy wires. The present and future tree trunk should be tied to the pole at the bottom and in as many places as required to straighten it out. Use straps or strips of strong fabric so that the ties don't damage the trunk's bark.
     
    Dan1980 likes this.
  6. Dan1980

    Dan1980 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Comox, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
    Ok great, that all makes good sense, thank you very much!
     

Share This Page