This winter, follow these five simple steps to ensure deathly, happy apple trees for years to come, says BBC Gardeners' World magazine.

Apple trees in the park during Autumn, England, UK

Good winter pruning will help to produce a healthy autumn crop ©Getty

1. Reduce tree size

If the branches have grown too long for you to reach, reduce them a little to help you prune next time.

2. Reduce density in centre

Cut out any vigorous shoots that are growing into the plant’s centre so air and light can reach all the branches.

3. Remove touching branches

If shoots are very close together, or cross or rub against each other, thin them out by cutting one back to the main branch.

4. Cut out dead/damaged branches

Remove damaged, dead or diseased branches. This shoot with a canker needs to be cut back to the main branch.

5. Thin fruiting spurs

On old trees, thin out some of the fruiting spurs to create room for fewer but better quality fruits next year.


Emma Crawforth is the gardening editor of BBC Gardeners’ World magazine. Each issue is packed with inspiring planting and design ideas, along with suggestions on how to grow your own delicious produce