To prune or not to prune?


Well-Known Member
I planted 11 10-gallon Dunstan Chestnuts in October 2017. They’ve done well and I’m starting to think about pruning.

The second group I have questions about are bare root apples and crabs planted May 2018.

First a few Chestnuts:



Now an apple example:


Some of the lower branches on the Chestnuts and apples are a no brainer, just wondering if I really need to select a central leader and cut some of the larger horizontal branches off.

I’ll be on my property at the end of April. Is it too late to prune at that time?

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Pruning is best done during the dormant season. One of the reasons is that the tree has all of the growing season to heal the wound from where it was pruned. Young trees like yours will need nothing more than a little training. Prune cross over limbs, weak crotches and head back side branches to a outside bud. I have used spreader sticks to improve crotch angles on trees that size. You should be fine pruning that late in Western N. C. , but it would be better if you did you work wile the trees are dormant.
Ate any of the crotch angles (pictured) coming off the central leader too severe? Or severe enough to require training or pruning yet?

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