Question: How should I prune my apple trees?

Answer: When you plant a young apple tree, it will probably have few, if any, side branches. Cut its top back by half at planting to encourage side branching. The bottom branch should be 26 to 30 inches from the ground, and you will want two or three other scaffold branches evenly spaced around the trunk. After the scaffold branches have been established, you’ll do little regular pruning each winter. If strongly vertical “watersprouts” develop, however, you’ll want to remove them during the dormant season.

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