Our apple tree has a dead branch on it that still has dead leaves from last...
Our apple tree has a dead branch on it that still has dead leaves from last year. We can't figure out if it was injured or diseased. I understand that apple trees should only be pruned when they are dormant but the snow this winter was too deep to have someone deal with it then. Can we remove the dead branch now or should we just leave it?
Hennepin County Minnesota
The best option would be to mark the branch and then prune it when the tree is dormant. Your should prune apple trees in late winter from February to early April. Spring or summer pruning increases chances for infection and spread of the bacterial disease fireblight. Autumn or early winter pruning is more likely to result in drying and die-back at pruning sites.