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Training and Pruning Apple Trees



Authors as Published

Richard P. Marini, Extension Specialist, Horticulture, Virginia Tech

Reviewed by Gregory Peck, Assistant Professor of Horticulture and Extension Specialist, Alson H. Smith, Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Virginia Tech

    Cover, Training and Pruning Apple Trees

This publication is available in PDF format only.

Proper training and pruning of trees is a major component of a profitable apple orchard operation. Successful pruning is an art based upon scientific principles of tree growth and physiology and an experienced understanding of tree response to various pruning cuts and practices. Each tree is an individual and should be treated accordingly. Varieties differ in growth characteristics and response to pruning cuts, rootstocks, soil, and growing conditions. It is important that orchard designs, objectives, and goals be clearly defined and that pruning principles are developed accordingly. Mediumto high-density plantings require greater commitment to detailed training and pruning than low-density orchards and should not be attempted unless such a commitment is made.


Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.


Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.


January 30, 2015

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