Tall spindle pruning


The picture helped a lot I cut some of mine back too close and lost the fruiting cluster I should have had. Won’t do that again!


Lots of good info here. How did everyone’s ts trees do this year?

Branches on some of my trees are pretty long and was wondering if shortening them is another step in the pruning process of ts trained trees? All of the searching I have done on pruning ts has never mentioned shortening branches. Now I know that eliminating 2 of the largest branches will get rid of a few but a lot of my branches are longer than I like.


You can always shorten branches for a reason. Those reasons can be eg. interference with the next tree/thing, hanging too low with fruit load. What do you mean by “longer than you like”? Are those pure esthetic reasons? In general esthetic doesn’t matter much in spindle trees. They are trained for functional reasons. But nonetheless you can always shorten a branch in the process of columnarizing. It is even in one of the above linked videos. Just don’t overdo it, cause that might invigorate the tree too much.


Totally agree with the @carot . Unless these long limber limbs are causing a problem the tipping could delay fruiting.


I wish I knew more about Liberty apples before planting it in a Tall Spindle. It’s a mass of branches.


Liberty is a tough variety to prune well, and it oversets fruit like crazy. I don’t know tall spindle very well, but I can tell you that it’s hard to overprune my Liberty- my word of the day when I go out to work on it is “simplify, simplify, simplify.” Then I start taking things out until it scares me, and it’s never too much.


I know your a Liberty fanatic ( haha). I’m growing Liberty in a Tall Spindle, open vase and a pyramid shaped and Tall Spindle is the worst. Shoots out a lot of side branching. Open vase is the best for me.


I am! So what’s the problem? :slight_smile:
Just to be fair, though, I’m got a real liking for Rubinette, Karmijn de Sonnaville, Haralson, Wealthy, Macoun, MacIntosh, and no doubt others I’ve left out.


They’re up there for me with productivity, flavor and really make a nice cider from them alone,


The trees are spaced 3’ apart and limbs are crossing over each other (tree to tree). I would like to keep that to a minimum. So should I not dormant prune these trees, and wait till summer because I don’t really want vegetative growth. Would reducing length of limbs be better after fruit set anyway, that way I could thin out some apples.


It is slightly better behaved in standard format, but not much. The local pros have told me several times that you shouldn’t be afraid to get out the saw and cut tree-sized chunks out of your Liberty. Though I’d add it might be smarter to do that in the summer rather than the winter to avoid a vicious cycle of prune-grow-prune


Yes my standard Liberty gets big cuts to avoid a lot of crazy growths.


I am going to top my tall spindle trees to reduce height so that I can enclose the whole bunch of them.
My question is, when is a good time to summer prune so that I can reduce the chance of aggressive vegetative growth. I will be cutting of around 4 ft in some cases.


See if this link doesn’t take you to a pruning guide that will answer your question:


It’s been mentioned here a couple of times at least. I think it’s very well laid out and straightforward to understand.


Thanks for info link, already good on how to prune, was hoping for a when to prune.


I think it covers that pretty well part way through the paper. They are so inter-connected that a person really has to understand both. I’m about 5% there … :slight_smile: