Summer pruning apples

I thought this video was interesting and well explained, especially at the 10 minute part.


@Auburn… I found his youtube channel this summer and watched several of is vids including this one.

I summer pruned my 3… 3 year old apple trees… and my first leaf little Novamac on B9.
I did not summer prune my 20+ year old Early McIntosh… it has lots of fruit buds already and was taking this year off (alt bearing ? for the first time in 20+ years).

But on my newer apple trees I did summer prune them.

Our summer month July was brutal hot and quite dry… and all of my younger apple trees sort of quit growing by the end of July, first week in August… no new light green growth on the limb tips (as he showed)… But then in August, we got several really good rains and it actually cooled off some… and BOOM… all of my new apple trees put on another 8-12 inches of growth on all the limb tips by late August.

On the Timing for summer pruning… he says normally Mid August - September… but he also says (after they have stopped growing). Since mine had been thru such a TUF July and then conditions for growth got better early August… mind all did quite the growth spurt early to mid August… and then sort of slowed down again.

I Summer Pruned all 4 of my younger trees on Aug 25.

Just a couple weeks later I could see buds near the limb tips that I pruned that were swelling and growing… some of those turned into a regular shoot, and grew 8-12 inches long… they looked like a normal vegetative growth to me (a new limb starting, shoot growth).

But then some of the others made little short stubby growths that grew only like 2-3 inches and stopped.

But none of my short stubby growths… actually developed blooms (like his did).
Perhaps my timing, and late growth spurt in August, was not just right for that to happen ?

Not sure, but I do have hope that perhaps some of those short stubby growths will turn into fruit buds by next spring.

We will see.


1 Like

We had a nice discussion on these a little while back (A couple of good videos on summer pruning pomes) and this is a good place to continue the discussion.

I did several of these cuts and have to say they’re performing pretty much as predicted. There are some that immediately formed terminal spurs, others that spurred heavily behind the cut, some that didn’t spur at all, and a few that I’m just not quite sure on.

@alan followed up with comments that I found very useful: Favorite Pruning Guru .

All in all, time well spent.


Looks like this video has already been covered. Glad you linked the two. Thanks

I don’t know the best time for my area to summer prune but I mostly do it about mid July.

I’m glad to see it come up again. I think it’ll be useful to get more people’s experiences.

I think the reason mid-July is around the time most often recommended for summer pruning is because regrowth won’t be too great- so it is a labor reducing tactic. If you are a home grower, I think there is use in doing it when thinning fruit in spring and again during summer, but it is not something a commercial grower would benefit from, necessarily, although I would like to see research on spring pruning. The more the light reaches the leaves that serve fruit, the better, I believe, at least where the sun isn’t strong enough to scorch fruit.

According to the literature, it is during spring that energy allotment for fruit the next season is determined. It is logical that it might tilt the equation towards annual bearing if the right leaves are getting optimal sun.


This video, also by the Santa Cruz crew, provides some information on buds that might be useful:


Last year, early August… I summer pruned my then 3 year old Akane and Hudson Golden Gem trees.

This spring (4th leaf) not one single blossom.

This week, I summer pruned them again… and noticed that several fruit spurs had formed this year.

Seems like the summer pruning I did last Aug… did not make them form fruit buds that fall… but the next growing season they did develop several fruit spurs. Perhaps the summer pruning done the year before helped them get started the next year.

Hopefully next spring, I get some blooms and fruit…

I summer pruned my little Novamac on B9 a couple weeks ago, it was ready then… It already has lots of fruit spurs on it… but should be loaded with them next year. I left some nice scion wood on all of my trees, for trading this winter… when I did the summer pruning.