Summer cut for apple trees

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One of the most important care measures for apple trees is the summer cut. It regulates the growth of the tree and prevents fungal infestation, since the leaves can dry off more quickly after rainfall due to the better aeration of the crown. In addition, due to the better light incidence, the fruits in the interior of the crown mature more evenly and develop a more intense aroma.


The ideal period for the summer cut is from the end of June to mid-July, when shoot growth is complete and the apple tree creates new flower buds for the following year. Above all, remove the annual, vertically tall shoots (water shoots). In low-growing varieties, leave the thin branches in the crown and take out only the strongest shoots. Do not remove too much, because then the fruits will not be sufficiently nourished and will stay small. Thin shoots can be removed simply by tearing instead of scissors, because the lacerations heal very fast.

Summer cut apple tree

Cut the water ripper apple tree

Shorten the main drive and side branches (left) and remove the water traveler (right)

The unbranched tips of the mainspring and side branches should be shortened in the summer over a down-facing bud. This then expands again, but at the same time form below the bud several side branches, which later set fruit wood. Water veins usually arise on the top of the larger branches and grow vertically upwards. They rob the maturing fruit of the light and also form hardly any fruit wood. It is best to cut off the shoots directly at the base.

Tear out water tears

In the summer is to be recommended for all thinner, not too heavily lignified water voyages the ripping. The Astring is also removed and does not form new shoot buds

Thin out the fruit hanging

Apple varieties such as 'Boskop' often grew so bloated and fructifying that they hardly make new buds for the following year and then carry less. To avoid this so-called alternance, you should thin out the fruit hanging at the end of June. Rule of thumb: Let only one or two apples of each fruit stand hang. These fruits are optimally nourished by the tree and achieve a particularly good quality.
Tip: Binding instead of cutting is the expert tip for small apple trees and spindle bushes on weakly growing substrates. Flat-growing branches form their flowers and fruits earlier. When tying down, note that the cord does not cut into the bark. This can be easily prevented by weighting the branches with small weights instead.

Video Board: Summer Apple Tree Pruning.

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