It's time to prune your crabapple trees! Late spring is a perfect time of year to prune all your fruit trees, but especially your crabapple trees. Most people tend to let them grow and not really take good care of the trees, but there are certain things you have to do to make sure they stay healthy.
Any shoots going straight up for a horizontal branch are called water sprouts and need to come out. Snip them right near the branch collar. That way you won't get as many water sprouts coming up afterward.
Shoots coming from the roots or base of the tree are called root suckers and they need to come out, too. If you leave the root suckers, they're just going to grow up and crowd the tree, so you always need to snip them off right at the ground level.
So, when you are looking at the rest of the tree, you always take off dead, diseased, broken branches whenever you can. Remove crossing branches, branches that are rubbing against one of the other ones, and remove branches that have a narrow crotch angle. That's because the branch is going to be very weak and it could break right off.
You want to prune so the tree has an open center. That allows light to come in, so you don't get a lot of crowded of branches and more disease. And you get flowers in the center of the tree, as well as all around it. You'll have a beautiful crabapple tree this spring.
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