Last spring, as the best moving-in gift ever, i received my first apple tree: sure beats the pants off a new set of pot holders! Despite the obscenely hot summer we had last year, it put on some decent grown and seemed to have settled in nicely by the fall.
Over the winter, i did some (okay, way too much) reading about different ways to grow apple trees. Of all the shapes and styles of growing trees, i decided on an “open centered”, primarily because of this very well explained video series.
This guy’s great! Besides the accent, he stresses achieving the tree’s balance through thoughtful pruning and make a strong case for the open centered form. I especially appreciate how he narrates each cut made on the tree, so much easier seeing a real life example versus reading it in a book with still photos.
When i pruned my apple tree this last january for the first time, i converted it from a central leader tree to an open center. It’s a very weird feeling to walk up to a perfectly healthy tree and chop off the tallest central growth, then hack away some more! I’m very happy with the basic shape, and am curious how it will grow in this year. Below is the before and after…