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  • From: Monica Maggio <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] managing apple trees
  • Date: Tue, 3 May 2011 07:51:45 -0700

Summer pruning in which only 1/3 of the water sprouts are taken off each
year would be one approach.
If you remove all of the water sprouts at once, you trigger the tree's
defense mechanism so to speak and it will just re-grow them all over again
to try and replenish it's canopy - therefore requiring you to repeat this
same frustrating process each year and stressing the tree out in the
By only taking a 1/3 of them out each summer (starting with the
biggest/thickest ones) you allow for a gradual restructuring of the tree
that after 3 years will have removed all the "ugly" growth and allowed the
tree to focus it's energy into the branch structure you wish to keep instead
of wasting it on water sprout growth each year.

Also, be sure you are using thinning cuts, not heading cuts to take out the
1/3 water sprouts, and that these thinning cuts are close to the base of the
water sprout but not cutting into the branch collar.

Make sense?

Monica Maggio; manager
Home Orchard Society Arboretum

On Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 1:54 PM, Stephen Sadler <>wrote:

> My experiences matches what I've found in research - winter pruning will
> encourage water sprouts (and other growth); summer pruning will be more
> effective.
> ~ Stephen
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of Dr. Lucky Pittman
> Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 7:28 AM
> To: 'North American Fruit Explorers'
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] managing apple trees
> On your friend's crab, are you talking water sprouts, or suckers?
> They're quite different, but, IMO, management is essentially the same -
> prune off water sprouts, prune or pull out suckers.
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of Ginda Fisher
> Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 4:25 PM
> To: NAFEX Fruit Explorers
> Subject: [NAFEX] managing apple trees
> This is really a problem a friend is having with an ornamental crab apple,
> but I assume those are managed similarly to eating apples, so I hope this
> isn't too off-topic.
> My friend has an "ornamental" crab apple which looks ugly, mostly because
> it
> grows enormous numbers of water shoots. Is there any way to control that?
> I asked what sort of apple it was, and she said is was whatever Home Depot
> sold when they were landscaping 20 years ago.
> Thanks,
> Ginda
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