Contributors to this thread:
Oh no I'm going to bring up a topic that isn't specific to bows and arrows. So I have two very old apple trees on my property that we're abandonded many years ago probably planted in the 50's and grew in deep woods. Basically they are 50 ft tall with no lower branches and I would like to bring them down to a reasonable size and productivity. Anyone have any experience on pruning these trees and how to do jt? Will they ever come to productivity or should I just started over? I love the idea of a few trees that are from the original farmers of the property but trying to balance realism with sentimental thoughts.
I have a friend who's an arborist and he gave me an apple tree several years ago and his instructions are to prune when the leaves are, when it's dormant. Prune the vertical branches and leave the horizontal as those are the fruit bearing branches. Prune all dead wood. Prune close to the lowest bud on the branch and that will promote young wood that bears more fruit. Spray with fruit spray in the spring just as the fruit is forming. Keep the area below the tree free of debris as it will attract mice that will nest in the roots and kill the tree.
Doesn't sound like much you can do yourself giving that you mentioned they are 50 feet tall and no lower branches. I have an overgrown apple tree in my yard and needed a tree guy to come in and prune the tops with a bucket truck. No other way to get up there safely for it. Mine produces good and I think yours would too if pruned correctly and gets a lot of sun. The apples may be smaller though on an overgrown tree. I'm not a tree guy but I believe that you can trim up to 20% of the tree and its best to do it in late winter/early spring before they bud.
The piece i hunt in new hartford has a couple of very old huge abandoned apple trees..the property owner said they were there when he bought the place in the early 70's and were huge then..hes not sure what kind they are and fruit every 5yrs or so..dont you prune the dead stuff in the middle in a v shape..good luck with them ,very cool trees
I have a few in my yard. Prune in Jan/Feb. Take all the runners that grow straight up off and cut away any branches that overlap so sun can hit the whole tree. That's all I do. In April/May I fertilize and lime around the trees all the way out to where the branches hang. Spray with Insecticide when the fruits start to grow. And kill all the squirrels, because they will eat all the fruit or knock them to the ground otherwise.
There's plenty of youtube videos online if you search pruning apple trees.....but if there is a tree guy here, I'd love to hear from them about maximizing your crop every year. Good luck!
If those trees r that tall & old u got one chance just cut them down to 8 feet or so & hope they live & start new growth & if not then oh well. They will never b right but maybe in a few years u will get something? Better off starting new trees... Graft off of them???
I have basically done what Bloodtrail suggests, although I normally wait till end of March. I think I read somewhere that is the best time to do it.
Even doing that I have found that some years some trees produce and some years they don't. There doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason to it. Also bears can really destroy apple trees when they do produce.
Probably not a lot you can do with a tree that is 50 feet tall.
A 50 ft apple tree!! Do you get apples the size of basketballs?