A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: Want Apples? You Need a Vase! | How to Revive an Ancient Apple Tree

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21 May 2013

Want Apples? You Need a Vase! | How to Revive an Ancient Apple Tree

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Yesterday, I brought out my good old-fashioned method for making applesauce, but there is a journey to actually getting those apple trees to PRODUCE said apples. Over the next few days, I will be sharing you my best tips for growing apple trees and share a little of our experience over several years reviving two ancient apple trees.

First things first -- old fruit trees won't produce very well unless the are pruned and have good air circulation.  Ideally, the best time to prune an apple tree is in late winter/early spring, but if you are dealing with an old tree that has a bunch of clustered branches crossing in the interior of the tree, late spring will work!  That tree needs to BREATHE!

When we first moved into our home, we had two old apple trees that were literally just masses of branches.  The apples that year were weak to say the least.  Over the next two years, pruning was top of our to-do list.  This year, we are almost there with this tree closest to the house.  We have taken out 3-4 medium-large branches each year and now we have a nice open middle of the tree -- the "vase".  Pruning more than this might have harmed the tree, so be ruthless with pruning, but stretch it out if the tree is really bad!

See the 6 branches that all face outwards, forming a vase?  
Every branch in the tree now grows outwards so the leaves can get to the sun and apples will grow!
Bring on the blossoms!

Questions?  Just ask!


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