As the weather is still mild there are just a few thing that need to done this time of year apart from sweeping the leaves:-
- Pruning – As the last of the apples and leaves fall from the tree now the time to prune your standard tree & not your cordon that is pruned definitely in may and June and will be covered in a separate blog when the time comes.
The thing to remember is treat an apple tree the same way as you prune the rose . That is the to remove all the Dead,Dieing and Diseased branches first or the 3 Ds then to clear anything that crossing the branches to avoid them from rubbing together and thus causing a callus where infection can get in.
After that clear all branches in the middle to allow better circulation
When pruning apple trees it’s best to count down to seven nodes ,and then if can cut with a slant slanting away from the node. This allows water to run off and not get into the main branch .Avoid cutting back the leader if you have too, although by pruning back the leader will produce more lateral growth . And in that case its not cut back hard but just snipped out from the top
But in some cases where the lateral is too high or unaccessible this isn’t possible. So A long range pruner may be necessary to bring it down to size.See picture bellow.
These have a long telescopic handle and the lopper works on the pulley system.The saw is rather fragile so be careful not to cut in knot as it lightly to get stuck ,bend & then finally snap as you try and wiggly it free
Another job you can do is to really hard prune back your dog wood or cornus alba really hard now especially the old growth as this produces young bright red shoots from the base which add that special bright colour through the snow.
However special care should be taken if you have Cornus which produce the yellow and green foliage in the spring so a compromise will have to taken colour or form leaves or stems.