Apple Tree pruning

Asked January 31, 2016, 3:59 PM EST

I know I need to open up this MacIntosh tree, but I don't know how much. I was thinking about removing # 1 & 2, plus some upper branches of #4. Also I thought of leaving #1 and just remove #3. What suggestions do you have?

Ramsey County Minnesota

6 Responses

If you are numbering from bottom to top, I would #3&4 and clean up some smaller branches as well. For more information go to

Thank You for your reply. Please enlarge the photo and look for RED numbers that I embedded into the photo. These are the numbers that I referred to. Thank You

There they are. I would remove 2&3 plus clean up some of the smaller branches.

here are before and after pruning. I think I should remove more near #1, what about #'s 2 and 3 on the lower left? Those are the only branched that had apples last year. It was the first time I had blossoms on this tree. I read someplace that excess pruning is bad. The trees in the background make it hard to see. thanks

I am sorry for the delay, I can place notations on your photo but then cannot export the photo to you. I will continue to attempt this and if I am able I will send it.

Normally we recommend removing no more than 1/3 of a tree otherwise they produce extra water sprouts. It is difficult to point out the branches to cut since I would normally walk around the tree to gauge them. Limbs growing at a 45 degree angle produce more fruit and limbs growing into the tree need to be removed along with any rubbing on other limbs. For more information see

2nd Attempt at loading the annotated picture of where to prune.