How To Prune Apple Trees In Summer: A Step-By-Step Guide

Pruning apple trees is a crucial step in the maintenance of healthy and productive fruit trees. Pruning helps to remove any dead, damaged or diseased parts of the tree while promoting new growth, increasing fruit production and maintaining the shape and size of your apple trees. While winter pruning is commonly recommended for most fruit trees, summer pruning is also important to ensure that your apple tree stays healthy.

Summer Pruning Basics

The best time to prune an apple tree during summer is from early June until late August. This period coincides with the peak growing season when there is a significant amount of new growth on the tree. The goal of summer pruning is to redirect nutrients towards valuable parts of the tree such as fruiting branches instead of growing too many leaves and stems.

Prune Apple Trees After Harvest

After harvesting apples, it’s essential to inspect your apple trees carefully for any damages or diseases that may have cropped up during their development cycle. Summer pruning should be done right after harvesting since this gives you ample time before cold weather sets in again.

Identify Diseased Branches And Deadwood

Before starting on any pruning activities, identify any deadwood or diseased branches first so that they can be removed immediately. It’s always important to use sterilized pruners when dealing with infected plants because you don’t want to spread infections across other plants accidentally.

Remove Water Sprouts

Water sprouts are branches that grow straight upwards from lateral branches; they usually emerge out from below graft unions on young perennial woody plants like shrubs and trees.
Removing these water sprouts directs more energy into developing vigorous side shoots instead which will ultimately lead them into producing quality fruits.

Prune Back Overly Vigorous Shoots

Overly vigorous shoots may shade less-vigorous neighboring ones, meaning some areas won’t receive enough light – hence leading them into unproductive growth.
To prevent this scenario from happening or repeating itself next season, prune back the shoots that are overly vigorous, and then direct more energy towards weaker or older branches.

Thin Out Areas With Too Much Foliage

Areas with too much foliage may make it difficult for enough sunlight to penetrate your apple trees’ interior. This can also lead to poor air circulation, creating a moist environment that encourages fungal diseases.
Thinning out these areas allows more light and air through the tree canopy while promoting better fruit quality in the process.


Pruning apple trees during summer is essential as it helps maintain their health, shape and size while promoting new growth and increasing overall productivity. By following this guide on how to properly prune your apple trees during summertime, you’ll be able to keep them healthy throughout the year. Remember always to inspect your plants carefully for any damages or diseases before beginning any pruning activities so that you can remove them immediately without affecting other plants in your garden.