Last year I posted about pruning the long-neglected apple trees that I inherited when I moved to Panther’s Hollow. Here’s what they looked like after the first round:
Still pretty messy, right? So this year I set about thinning them out some more. Here’s how they look now (sorry the picture isn’t clearer):
Big difference, huh? The one on the left actually has more branches than it looks like in the photo—unless you look carefully—and there are some old stumps of dead wood that I still have to cut off. But I think now they’re just about the way they should be.
Note that the spindly tree on the left of the first photo is now gone, too.
Next year I plan to take off another of the main vertical branches from each tree, due to crossing of side branches, and because they’ve grown too high anyway. But hopefully the trees will stay in better health this season and actually produce some edible apples.
I still have to find a way to keep the deer and raccoons out. I’m thinking maybe I could put some sort of mesh fencing close to the trees that the raccoons couldn’t climb on and the deer couldn’t jump over because they’d land in the tree. It just has to be strong enough that the deer won’t pull it down!