Pruning Apple tree

Asked February 11, 2016, 11:10 AM EST

I have a supposed crab apple tree 25feet tall with big green, red apples. How do you prune it much smaller? When is the best time to spray it. C an you name an orberist? Thanks!

Jefferson County Kentucky

1 Response

First, crab apples are in the apple family and the tree may have been mislabeled or the variety produces large fruit. either way they are edible. If the plant does not produce fruit you or your family like, it is easier and cheaper to replace it with a desired tree. Choose a tree that is disease resistant to keep spraying to a minimum. I have included a spray schedule for your convenience.

Pruning and training are two of the most important and time consuming practices involved in growing fruit trees. Pruning should begin the spring that a tree is set
out. Removing small branches early in the tree's life is much easier and causes fewer adverse effects than doing extensive corrective pruning when the tree is
much larger, as you have noted. Taking more than a third of the branches off can severely weaken the tree. This is a link to an older publication that has excellent information on pruning and growing fruit trees.

Please feel free to call our office to receive the most recent certified arborist list we have for the Louisville Metro area (certified by the Kentucky Arborist Association) . The list is compiled for the convenience of local homeowners and is not an endorsement by the University of Kentucky.

Let me know if I can help you further!

Carol Wilder
Horticulture Technician
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
810 Barret Ave
Louisville KY 40204